The root beer and sesame combination really works beautifully here, which is no surprise since we used that same one-two punch in a braised lamb shoulder recipe a few years ago. I’d just returned from foodie nirvana known as the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, and was anxious to share a recipe adapted from one I learned from chef Richard Blais.
He originally used lamb ribs, and as great as my shoulder chops were, I remember promising myself that I’d try it on ribs someday. It took a while, but it was worth the wait. The subtle gaminess of the fatty rib meat is a perfect foil for the sweet and spicy glaze, which seems even richer scented by the toasted sesame.
By the way, these are lamb ribs from the breastplate of the animal, NOT a rack of lamb from the loin, which also has a sort of similar row of bones attached to the meat. Rack of lamb is crazy expensive, and if you want to waste a lot of money, cooking it for 3 hours would be a great way to do it!
You’ll notice I didn’t slash the membrane on the back of the ribs this time. I’ve decided on small ribs, like these and baby backs, that it really doesn’t make much of a difference. Also, I forgot and didn’t realize until I was doing the voiceover! Anyway, I hope you find some lamb ribs (call a butcher and they will hook you up), or wimp out and use some pork ribs, but either way, I hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!
Ingredients for 4 portions:
2 racks of lamb ribs (aka bone-in lamb breast)
salt and pepper to taste
For the marinade:
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 to 2 tbsp Sriracha chili sauce, or other chili paste/sauce
2 tsp salt
1 (12-oz) bottle root beer
For the glaze:
reserved marinade, boiled down by about half
3 crushed garlic cloves
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp sambal or fresh minced hot red chilies
*Roast lamb wrapped in foil at 250 F. for 2 1/2 hours, or until almost tender, then uncover and glaze with sauce every 5-6 minutes at 400 F., until tender and gorgeous.