Eating well doesn’t have to break the bank, monetary salvation lies in knowledge. So, arm yourself with information and get to know your butcher. I’m a lover of lamb, but buying the rack every time will rob your wallet of its health. Lamb spare ribs, however, are often overlooked and if you can get your butcher to save some for you, the price will likely surprise you. Unpopular meat is cheap, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t scrumptious.
2- pounds Lamb Spare Ribs
2 cups Red Wine
¼ cup Poppy Seeds
2 large Red Onions
½ teaspoon Black Pepper
½ teaspoon Salt
Balsamic Vinegar for serving
Trim the lamb ribs of nearly all exterior fat (there will be a lot), leaving a thin layer where you cannot get any closer to the meat without cutting into the muscle. If you are able, pull the translucent skin away from the muscle tissue. If it is too difficult, don’t worry, it will peel away easily after cooking. Add the lamb to a plastic bag or plastic-wrap covered dish for marinating.
Pour red wine and poppy seeds over the ribs and slosh them around in the bag to spread the marinade. Let the ribs soak in wine for at least a few hours, if not overnight (or even a few days).
Hear your oven to 250 degrees. Remove the ribs from the fridge and let them warm up to room temperature while you heat the oven.
Slice the onions thinly and scatter them in the bottom of a large roasting tray.
Remove the ribs from the marinating bag, sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides then lay the ribs meat-side down directly on top of the onions. The bones should curve up toward you like fingers reaching out of the tray. Pour the remaining marinade (from the bag) over the ribs.
Roast the ribs for 2.5-3 hours, until they're fork tender. Remove the lamb from the oven and crank the heat up to 500 degrees.
Cut the ribs into individual bones and flip them over, so the meat is on top now. When the oven is up to heat, slide the tray back in for 10-15 minutes. The ribs should be crackling and crisp by the time you take them out again.
Remove the ribs to a plate and drizzle a touch of balsamic vinegar over them before serving.