We get in a rut of eating around here fairly often -- not a bad rut, mind you. We aren't going on candy benders. But we often still find ourselves eating about the same six or so (nutritious, wonderful) paleo meals in a rotation. So I vowed that, Christmas seeming like sort of a special event, I would make something (anything!) for Christmas dinner that broke the usual mold.
Christmas was super-quiet here this year. We skipped the usual trip out to Michigan to visit my wife's family, and my family wouldn't be around until a couple days later. So, what kind of special recipe could I make for me and my wife?
I went to Whole Foods and headed for the meat case. Staring at me (do ribs actually stare?), at a price per pound that I normally wouldn't pay for anything except a delicious distilled product from the Scottish isles, were lamb ribs. Cool. How hard could that be?
The interwebs offered me this recipe. I basically used that person's cooking method, but I totally disagree with the assessment that I read somewhere that the fat is to be avoided. It's delicious and, if you are using grassfed lamb, nutritious as well. But, as often happens, I had to make a few adjustments so my wife's paleo autoimmune protocol wouldn't be compromised.
Or at least not by me. When she opened the bottle of vino ("It's Christmas!!!"), at least the dietary compromise was her own and not foisted upon her.
Anyway, it was delicious, and, like the crap blogger that I am, I forgot to take a pic. And, really, it was so delicious that the window of opportunity for photo-taking was brief. There were no leftovers.
If you wanna relive the moment, it'd go like this:
--racks o'lamb ribs
--dried mango, chopped up
--ground black pepper
I am being purposely vague about the amounts because it's a flexible recipe. Our two racks had about eight ribs in each. I used two bags of dried mangoes from Whole Foods, about five cloves of garlic, and the rest in a proportion of 1:1:0.5:1 (cinnamon, cumin, salt, pepper). In other words, use half as much salt as the other three of those ingredients.
--preheat oven to 275 degrees
--in a baking dish (lined with foil if you want easy cleanup) put the minced garlic and mangoes down as a bed for the lamb
--in a bowl, combine the cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper and then rub it all over the ribs. Rub it on pretty thick. I really have no idea how much I used, but you'll be fine. Just keep the proportions as described. Lay the racks on top of the mango/garlic bed
--add water to the pan until it covers about one-quarter to one-third of the way up the ribs
--cover the dish with foil and let it cook for three hours
--yes, three hours. You are braising this, and braising takes time
--remove the foil and turn the heat up to 375
--cook for another 20 to 30 minutes until the ribs are browned
The idea here is that the garlic/mango slurry creates a chutney-ish concoction that you then eat with the ribs. It is pretty amazing.
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