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Braised Lamb Ribs with Hoisin Sauce and Small Town Living

When I left the big city four years ago I wondered if I could live in a small prairie city. We don't have a top 40 radio station. All the tunes I bopped to as a teen are still being played and it feels totally retro. Restaurants still serve open faced turkey sandwiches on white bread with gravy,  jello or ice cream for dessert. I can leave my bedroom window open at night for fresh air. I am not driving around town noticing vehicles with side windows smashed. There are no street corner drug deals. I can buy excellent local lamb albeit I have to buy the whole animal. It is never sold by the cut at the butcher shop. Go figure? I have purchased two lambs since I moved here from two different farmers. Both lambs were delicious.

Opening a package from my freezer often is like opening a mystery bag from the dollar store that  people buy for ridiculous prices. I have never figured out that mystery bag thing. Why would I part with $5 or $10 for a bag of I Don't Know What? You don't have mystery bags in your stores? Earlier this week I opened a package from my freezer labelled shoulder roast to make Lamb Biryani. They were ribs. Actually ribs were attached to my shoulder roast. I had to think about that for awhile. Ribs, shoulders? Are they attached? Obviously. Were those some ribs from my rack?

I detached them and put the ribs away to cook separately. Now I am pondering the feasibility of having the whole butchered carcass delivered and I will learn how to cut it myself. I haven't had a good rack of lamb yet and I so crave it. Or perhaps they can deliver the front half whole for me to cut and cut the back half only? I don't even know if I am joking or serious. I love the flavour of my local lamb but I just wish the butchers would forget beef when they cut lamb. It is so different really.

Today is the day to cook my little slab of lamb ribs. This recipe would be great in a slow cooker. Sear the ribs before adding to the cooker along with all the other ingredients. I am making them stovetop because I don't want to heat the oven for a puny little slab of ribs.

Braised Lamb Ribs with Hoisin Sauce

lamb ribs
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 c. beef broth or dark beer
1/2 tsp. chili powder
3 tbsp. Chinese or Japanese style vinegar
1 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/2 c. hoisin sauce

Season meat with salt and pepper. Heat oil in saute pan and sear lamb ribs. Remove from pan and add garlic and ginger careful not to brown too much. Add remaining ingredients except hoisin sauce. Simmer for 3 hours or until fall apart tender. Add water if necessary. Add hoisin sauce and simmer an additional 30 minutes.

Serve with herb boursin mashed potatoes and sauteed greens.


  1. Sounds pretty good to me. Have a good week, Diane

  2. There are advantages to small town living. And at least Retro Radio plays songs that are familiar, right? I'd love to get a lamb like yours; it's so expensive and hard to find here.

    1. The Retro Radio was the biggest surprise or was it the hot turkey sandwiches. I had been in the city for so long I had just assumed the whole world changed with the times! But you are right, there are advantages. Love my lamb just have to train a butcher.

  3. Sarah, I'd never had lamb ribs until 2 years ago. I was stunned how good they were. I had only ever eaten leg and chops and tenderloin... I never liked shoulder and neck cuts.

    I really must try these one of these days. My first taste was grilled outside and I wanted to wait till I could grill to try them... this is a great alternative.


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