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Lamb ribs with a green and orange tomato piquant sauce recipe


Photo: Lamb ribs with a piquant green and orange tomato sauce

Photo: Lamb ribs with a piquant green and orange tomato sauce

I spotted some *CFC lamb ribs – knocked down from £3.99 to £1.42 – so snapped them up. I’d never seen lamb ribs before – the price was tempting but how on earth was I going to cook them?

I floated some recipe ideas past Danny. With zero response.
“I’m happy to cook them.” He offered. “Grilled ribs and chips. How about that?”
“No way.”

The weather has been cold and drizzly for days. On my daily blight check I spotted that quite a few tomatoes had split and the skins were peeling back. Not blighted yet but suffering.
“If I can cook green tomatoes then I must be able to cook orange ones.” I mused.
I fancied a dish with the ribs crisped in Andrew with a sweetish, gently spiced tangy sauce on a bed of couscous laced with fresh mint and coriander (cilantro).

When Jean was cleaning the larder she tackled the spice shelves that are built on the inside of the door. These were made by The Penultimate Paramour and are packed with herbs, spices and delicious ingredients that had Jean goggle eyed. The seven shelves are 2’ wide and 4” deep so this extra 14’ of shelving is a boon. A while ago I invested in a superior range of spice blends made by Bart. I must admit that the look of the tins attracted me first. There is an extra metal seal under the flap topped lids so the spices stay fresh for ages. These are usually stored right at the top of the door but Jean had put them on a different shelf and the Baharat tin caught my eye. Baharat is great with lamb. Perfect.

I baked the ribs in Andrew on the perforated pizza tray – so excess fat would drip through the holes. Fat side up for 15 mins and then on their sides for a further ten. The ribs were cooked through and the fat deliciously crispy. The sauce and accompanying couscous were a perfect foil. Delicious.

Incidentally this sauce would also freeze well.

Lamb ribs with a green and orange tomato piquant sauce (for two hungry people)


500g of lamb ribs
The sauce:
1 tsp of Baharat spices
1 large pinch of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons of runny honey
Half a tsp of dried tarragon
2 chubby cloves of garlic – squashed and chopped fine
150g green unripe tomatoes (sliced roughly)
250g orange unripe tomatoes (sliced roughly)
The juice from quarter of a small orange
1 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tbsp of cornflower to thicken at the end

For the couscous:
150g of couscous
Water – twice the quantity of the couscous
1 large handful of mint and coriander leaves (chop these fine)
1tsp of vegetable stock powder
Plenty of ground black pepper
Knob of butter


Put all the ingredients of the sauce (with the exception of the cornflour) in a large sauté pan. Bring up to simmering point, stirring every now and then. Leave to simmer for about 45 minutes and then use a little of the liquid from the pan to add to the cornflour and make a runny paste. Stir this into the pan and simmer gently until the sauce has thickened.

At this stage grill (broil) or bake the ribs (we used Andrew at 200c)

And prepare your couscous. Boil the water and add the butter and vegetable stock powder to the water. Add the couscous and the herbs stir and remove from the heat. Cover the pan and leave it in a warm place. When the ribs are ready fluff up the couscous.

Serve on warm plates and garnish with fresh mint or coriander leaves.

*CFC condemned food counter

  Leave a reply


  1. Sounds yummy, thanks Fiona, I’ll give these a go. As everyone else reports, more green tomatoes than I know what to do with, have had a record crop of delicious red huge toms this year and here in Devon they are still ripening outside on the vine – my freezer is bursting – too many bags of blackcurrant, rhubarb, gooseberry, beans and tomatoes (cooked and uncooked) already in there!

    Bought my lamb ribs at Morrisons on CFC and used Nigel Slater’s sticky chicken mix on them. Cooked in the Andrew straight in the bowl – not much fat on them and I wanted all the lemon & honey sauce!

    Happy eating.

  2. Unlurking to say that this sounds smashing, and I’ll have to try it with some of the green tomatoes that are currently overloading (and running off) my kitchen counter. I’m not very far up the road from you (Bury St Edmunds) and it’s so nice to read a blog from someone in the same climate!

    Green tomatoes also make great curry. I tend to use this recipe: but google reveals others. I’m getting to desperation point with them and am now freezing them chopped and raw in one pound bags in the anticipation of winter.

    All the best,


  3. Of all the things Andrew does well, I think ribs cook the best. Even ready prepared ones cook in less than half the time required in the oven and come out meltingly tender … I’ll certainly be keeping my eyes peeled for lamb ribs after reading this recipe, Fiona, all my favourite ingredients in one go!

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