Look no further than these tender, mouthwatering lamb ribs for your next hearty meal! Made with one of the best lamb cuts, this slow-roast recipe makes the juiciest, succulent ribs coated with the most satisfying sweet-savory barbeque glaze.
Although I am a big fan of fast meals like chicken breast, chimichurri steak, and pan-seared salmon, I love how the meat falls off the bone in slow-cooked dishes like Persian chicken and beef barbacoa.
What are lamb ribs?
Lamb ribs are cut from the ribcage of the lamb and are similar to pork or beef ribs in terms of their texture. In the market, you’ll find them labeled as spare, lamb breast ribs, or Denver ribs. They are often cooked slowly to tenderize the meat.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Easy to cook. Like beef short ribs or boneless beef short ribs, once the marinade is on, you just have to bake the ribs in the oven as suggested.
- Budget-friendly. Not only is the meat an excellent protein to work with, but it is also pretty affordable.
- Crowd-pleaser. Just like 3-2-1 ribs, know that this recipe is popular with everyone! Wherever I have served this recipe, it’s finished within minutes.
- The perfect BBQ feel. Similar to air fryer ribs, without actually grilling or BBQing in the sun amidst heat and smoke, you get the perfect ribs every single time.
What I love about this recipe is how this flavorful lamb just melts in your mouth!
The recipe calls for lamb ribs, aromatics, condiments, and everyday staples. Here’s what you’ll need:
For the lamb:
- Lamb ribs. Get non-marinated riblets from your local butcher or supermarket and get cooking.
- Fennel seeds. For the subtle sweet aroma.
- Smoked paprika. It adds a touch of spice.
- Salt and Pepper. To season the ribs.
- Water. Water helps create a moist airflow in the oven, preventing the ribs from drying.
For the barbeque glaze:
- Maple syrup. For the sweet sticky glaze.
- Ketchup. I love to make ketchup from scratch. Also, you can make it low-carb.
- Barbeque sauce. Buy your favorite BBQ sauce from the market, or create your own using this delicious recipe.
- Brown sugar. It helps to add the caramelization to the ribs.
- Dijon mustard. It helps to add a little zing.
How to make delicious lamb ribs
Follow these five simple steps to enjoy tender and juicy ribs!
Step 1- Season the ribs. Rub fennel seeds, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper onto the ribs and place them in a single layer on a wire rack. Then, place the rack in a large baking tray filled with water.
Step 2- Slow bake. Cover the ribs with tin foil and bake them in a preheated oven at 150C/300F for two hours.
Step 3- Bake at a high temperature. Once the ribs are tender, increase the temperature to 200C/400F.
Step 4- Brush the glaze. Make a glaze by whisking together ketchup, maple syrup, bbq sauce, brown sugar, and mustard in a small bowl, and brush it over the ribs.
Step 5- Finish cooking. For the last step of the cook, remove the foil and bake the ribs uncovered for a further half an hour. Baste them until sticky and caramelized. Garnish with parsley, rest the meat, and serve hot.
What to serve with lamb ribs?
Tips to make the best recipe
- Let the ribs rest. After removing lamb ribs from the oven, let them rest for at least 10 minutes at room temperature so that the juices in the meat redistribute. This step ensures that the ribs stay tender.
- Adjust the cooking time. If you have smaller rib racks, you can cut down the cooking time.
- Don’t rush the cook. The lamb ribs are slightly tough and must be cooked slowly so that the meat comes off effortlessly.
- Don’t forget to cover the ribs. The water tray and the foil-covered ribs help to lock the moisture and prevent the ribs from drying out.
- Smoke your lamb ribs. If you have a smoker, smoke the ribs for 2-3 hours before baking in the oven.
- Use a different glaze. So long as the glaze has a little sugar that helps it caramelize, you can use any sauce, like ham glaze, katsu, or stir-fry sauce. You can also make honey, rosemary, and garlic glaze.
- Use a different marinade. To reduce your cook time, marinate the ribs overnight in the refrigerator so they get tender. Use a combination of apple cider vinegar, cumin, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic instead of the dry rub used in this recipe.
To store. Keep the leftover ribs in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
To freeze. These decadent lamb ribs are best enjoyed fresh. I don’t recommend freezing the leftovers.
To reheat. Reheat in a microwave for a couple of minutes or in the oven until heated thoroughly.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
- Wire rack. Whether used for cooling baked goods or layering meat in the oven, this wire rack is a kitchen essential.
- Tongs. Use these tongs to handle your ribs.
- Grill. If you have the means, grilled lamb ribs are sensational!
More lamb recipes to try:
Frequently asked questions
To barbeque your lamb ribs on a grill, create two heat zones – a direct one with high heat and an indirect one for slow cooking. Place the seasoned lamb ribs in the indirect zone and cook it covered. After both sides are reasonably tender, transfer them over high heat and grill them until charred.
Rub the seasoning and refrigerate the ribs until you’re ready to cook. Because this recipe takes 2-3 hours to roast and is enjoyed fresh, I advise you to make it the same day.
I prefer to leave the fatty layer on as it keeps the lamb juicy during the cook. If you prefer a less rich dish, peel it off before cooking.
Sticky Lamb Ribs
- 2 lbs lamb ribs
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 150C/300F. Place a wire rack in a large baking tray or roasting pan.
- In a mixing bowl, add the ribs and sprinkle with fennel seeds and smoked paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Place the seasoned ribs on a single layer on the rack.
- Pour the water into the pan and cover with tin foil. Bake for 2 hours, until tender.
- Whisk together the glaze ingredients.
- Remove the foil from the ribs and brush with the glaze.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, regularly basting them until sticky and caramelized.
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