Fried Lamb Ribs with Fennel Yogurt and Fresh Mint

Prep Time

30 Minutes

Cook Time

15 Hours Inactive Time


Serves 6


Most ingredients are available in Antonio’s Market!

Order Denvered Lamb Ribs from your butcher in advance. Then begin
this recipe up to 2 days ahead, to allow time for marinating and weighting


3 ea (8-rib) racks of Denvered Lamb ribs (4 ½ to 5 lbs), Trimmed of excess fat
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 ea Garlic Cloves, Thinly Sliced
2 tbsp Rosemary, Coarsely Chopped
2 tbsp Black Peppercorns, Coarsely Cracked
1 1/2 cups Plain Greek Yogurt
1 tsp Whole Fennel Seeds
1 1/2 quarts Whole Milk
7 cups Canola Oil, For Frying
2 cups Semolina Flour
2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
Torn Mint Leaves, For garnish
Fine Sea Salt

Method of Preparation

1. Place ribs in a large baking dish.
2. In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, rosemary, 1 1/2tbsp salt and coarsely cracked pepper.
3. Pour over, then rub marinade into both sides of ribs.
4. Cover and marinate, chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
5. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before roasting.
6. Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
7. Line a baking sheet with foil, leaving a 3in overhang on all sides.
8. Top foil with parchment paper.
9. Place ribs on parchment and cover with a second later of parchment paper, fold foil overhang over parchment, then cover completely with a double layer of foil, sealing top later of foil at all edges of pan, to loosely enclose ribs airtight.
10. Bake ribs for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
11. Remove ribs from oven and carefully open the seal.
12. Let cool on a wire rack to room temperature.
13. Wrap ribs in foil and refrigerate overnight.
14. In a large bowl, whisk together milk and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
15. Unwrap the ribs, and then cut between the bones into individual pieces.
16. Place in milk mixture, cover and chill while you prepare the yogurt.
17. In a small skillet, heat fennel seeds over medium-low heat for 1 1/2 minutes.
18. Transfer seeds to a plate to cool.
19. Finely grind the seeds with a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
20. In a bowl, stir together fennel, yogurt and 1/8 tsp salt.
21. Adjust seasoning to taste.
22. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
23. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and arrange near stove.
24. Fill a large, wide pot with canola oil to come up 3 inches.
25. Heat over medium-high heat to 360 degrees F.
26. Meanwhile, in a large shallow bowl, whisk together semolina and all-purposed flours.
27. Working with 4 or 5 ribs at a time, remove ribs from milk bath, shaking off excess liquid, then dredge them in the flour mixture.
28. Fry until golden and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes per batch.
29. Raise oil heat back up to 360 degrees F between batches.
30. Transfer fried ribs to prepared baking sheet.
31. Season with salt.
32. Repeat with remaining ribs.
33. Serve ribs warm with fennel yogurt and garnished with mint leaves.

Recipe Source

La Cucina Italiana Magazine, November 2013 Issue