The mutton was delicious, but cook should have used a recipe more suited to its slightly idiosyncratic properties. The ribs were finished exactly as as I hoped they would be, that is, medium-rare, but they were very chewy. I don’t believe that had to follow from using either this of meat variety or this cut: I think a more enclosed or moist cooking process would have worked better than what I have to say was basically a simple dry roasting.
I had only cooked ribs, of any kind, once before, and that was more than 6 years ago. Then they had been goat, almost the same size as these, and they were both delicious and tender. I cooked them on top of the stove, on a grill pan, but I had covered the ribs with aluminum foil and regularly basted them, at which time the foil had to be briefly pulled aside.
Last night I seared the ribs and them placed them, uncovered, in an oven for about 10-12 minutes, but I wouldn’t recommend using this process, and I wouldn’t repeat it myself, at least not without some amendment. I’m including it here mostly as a kitchen document, and as a record of the market sources I used.
(note: there were 4 double chops; only one, an outside piece, is seen in the top image)
- one 22-ounce, 9-rib section of spare rib of young mutton from Lowland Farm in the Union Square Greenmarket, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, seared on both sides in a little olive oil inside a large, heavy, tin-lined oval copper skillet for about 4 minutes, the fatty side then brushed with dijon mustard before the fatty side was covered and patted down with a mixture of almost a cup of crumbs from a day-old polenta boule from She Wolf Bakery, a generous amount of finely-chopped fresh thyme and winter savory leaves from Stokes Farm, a little peppermint from Phillips Farm, parsley from S. & S.O. Produce, salt, and pepper, placed, the fatty and breaded side up, inside a rectangular glazed ceramic baking pan just large enough to hold the rack, removed when a thermometer read 120º and allowed to sit for almost 10 minutes, covered in foil, during which time the temperature had gone up to over 125º, indicating medium-rare, cut into 4 double chops, only one at a time arranged on each of 2 plates
- ‘dragon carrots’ (red, or deep purple outside, more orange inside, looking a bit like sliced pickled eggs, once cut open) from Tamarack Hollow Farm, scrubbed, dried, tossed inside a bowl with a little olive oil, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, a teaspoon of ground Italian fennel seed, a bit of a crushed section of orange/gold dried habanada pepper, arranged, not touching, on a medium ceramic Pampered Chef oven pan, roasted at 400º for half an hour, or until tender, arranged on the plates and garnished with micro kohlrabi from Two Guys from Woodbridge
- cavolo nero, aka black kale, lacinato, or Tuscan kale, from Tamarack Hollow Farm, sautéed until wilted inside a large enameled cast iron pot with olive oil in which 2 halved garlic cloves from Healthway Farms & CSA had first been heated until beginning to color, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper and drizzled with a little olive oil
- the wine was an excellent California (Lodi) red, Karen Birmingham Reserve Zinfandel Lodi 2015, from Naked Wines
- the music was Lully’s 1686 tragédie en musique, ‘Acis Et Galatée’, Marc Minkowski conducting Les Musiciens du Louvre