Lamb Ribs with Shallot–Pepper Butter Sauce
In 1994 these lamb ribs were awarded the prestigious “Golden Dish Award,” presented by Alan Richman of GQ magazine to the 10 best dishes of the year from around the world. The chef has kept them on the menu since, and the lamb ribs continue unfailingly to offer a unique excitement to his guests, giving nod to the notion that eating with your hands gives pleasure.
- Racks of Lamb Ribs - 4
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 1⁄4 cup
- Garlic - 2 tablespoons, chopped
- Fresh Thyme Leaves - 4 sprigs
- Fresh Rosemary - 1 sprig
- Fresh Italian parsley - 2 sprigs
- Freshly ground black pepper - 1 tablespoon
- Shallot-Pepper Butter
- White Wine - 1⁄4 cup
- Champagne Vinegar - 1⁄2 cup
- Shallots - 1⁄3 cup, finely diced
- Freshly ground coarse black pepper - 1⁄4 cup
- Salt - 1⁄2 teaspoon
- Unsalted Butter - 12 tablespoons (1-1⁄2 sticks) cut into 8 pieces
- Salt to taste
To marinate the lamb ribs: Place the lamb ribs in a nonreactive shallow dish. Sprinkle with the olive oil, garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
To cook the lamb ribs: Heat the grill to medium. Slowly grill the ribs over the medium-hot fire. For a medium-rare rib, grill about 6 minutes on each side, for a total of 12 minutes per rack. Sprinkle the ribs with a little salt. Place them on a platter, cover, and keep warm until ready to serve.
To slice the ribs: Since lamb ribs are rather small, they do not have an abundance of meat. Therefore, they require a special, rather tricky slicing technique. Slice the first rib bone off the rack, cutting as close to the bone as possible—leaving as much meat as you can attached to the second rib. Slice the second rib off the rack by cutting as close as possible to the third rib bone. This gives the second rib lots of nice meat on both sides of the bone. Continue to cut the ribs in this manner, discarding every other bone, yielding succulently meaty ribs with the remaining.
To prepare the shallot-pepper butter sauce: In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan combine the wine, vinegar, shallots, pepper, and the salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Maintain a vigorous boil and let the mixture reduce until it thickens and the bubbles start to enlarge. Reduce the heat until the mixture is just at simmer. Using a wire whisk, beat in the butter quickly, one piece at a time. Be careful not to continue to reduce the mixture as the butter is beaten in. Check the seasonings and add salt to taste. Keep the sauce warm on the back of the stove until ready to use.
To serve: Stack 4 of the cut ribs “tent style” on each of 4 serving plates. Drizzle the sauce over the top and enjoy.