Lamb is a popular meat choice in all of Italy, but this particular dish of lamb ribs, with a red onion confit and an artichoke sauté, hails from Tuscany, one of our favorite destinations!
Deep Fried Aromatic Lamb Ribs (With New Red Onion Confit and Artichoke Sauté)
Prep time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 3 minutes
Cook method: Fry
- 2 new medium red onions
- Peel of one orange
- Fresh thyme
- 4 small artichokes
- Bay leaf
- Young garlic
- Fresh mint
- 8 lamb ribs, “Frenched” by a butcher
- Fennel flower
- Salt and pepper
- 1 bottle Weiss beer
- Rice flour (q.b.)
- Olive oil
1. First prepare the new red onion confit. Take one medium onion per person, remove the external peel, cut the stalk and put in a container that can go in the oven. Cover with extra virgin olive oil, add the peel of one orange, fresh thyme and cover with alluminium foil. Cook at 65°C for 1h 30min. The onions will be perfectly cooked and have a consistent texture. Let them cool in the oil for about one hour.
2. Next, prep the artichokes. In May and June you can find very small artichokes, perfect to be preserved in olive oil. Take two artichokes per person, remove the external leaves and keep in water and ice with some lemon juice to prevent them from turning black.
3. Start the lamb ribs. Ask your butcher for “Frenched racks” of lamb (it means the loin without the external fat) and cut it in ribs to have 3-4 ribs per person. Season the ribs with wild fennel flower (available in herbal or organic shops), fresh thyme, ground black pepper and just a little of sel de guerande (organic, non-refined, non-washed french salt). Let the ribs absorb the flavors for one hour.
4. Prepare a batter: take one bottle (33 cl) of iced cold Weiss beer (lager beer can be good as well but won’t have the same Weiss beer aromatic taste) and some rice flour. Mix together with a whisk till you obtain a creamy but not thick batter. Do not add salt. Let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
5. Cut the artichokes in halves and cook them in a pan with oil, new garlic (the young garlic still without the bulb) and bay leaf for 3-4 minutes so they will remain al dente. Add some fresh mint leaves, salt, turn off the flame and cover with a lid.
6. Pour olive oil in a pot (or frying machine) so that the ribs will be completely dipped when frying. Take the ribs and put them in the batter for a few seconds. One at a time, put the ribs in the hot oil (170°C) and cook for about one min. Take them out of the oil and put them on some paper to dry. Wait one more minute and repeat the operation once more, dipping the ribs again in hot oil. This procedure will make them much more crunchy. Salt them with sel de guerande.
7. Cut the onions confit in cloves and heat them in the oven. Put them nicely in the middle of the plate like you are preparing a “nest” for the ribs. Put the ribs on the onion cloves and finish with the four halves of baby artichokes.
8. Use some fresh mint leaves and a pinch of wild fennel flower to decorate your dish.
By Peg Kern
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