Lamb Ribs…and Kansas City Barbecue


One of the vendors at our little farmer’s market was Hi Ho Sheep Farm. They were right next to the stand where I get my tomatoes and vegetables every week. They had all of their meats wrapped, frozen, and ready to go. And guess what…..they had ribs. I grabbed one frozen slab for a future dinner.

I had never cooked lamb ribs before so I did them just like baby back ribs. They were out of this world good. All I did was thaw them in the fridge overnight. I covered both sides with one of the rubs I had in the cupboard. It happened to be a pecan rub. Any rub you like would be good. Placed the ribs in a baking dish and then covered the dish tightly with aluminum foil. Into a 250 degree oven for three hours…no peeking. Then, I removed them from the oven, drained all the grease off, brushed on my favorite bottled barbecue sauce and baked, uncovered, for an hour and a half more at 250 degrees.


Not knowing how darn good these ribs would be, I did not take any pictures of the process. I wish that I had. The pictures would have been staged a bit better. After the first taste, I whipped out my iPhone and took pictures of what was on Mr. Gravy’s plate and what was left in the baking dish. You all know I am not a photographer…I am a cook who takes pictures of food for my blog. This is all I’ve got.  If you are a lamb lover, lamb ribs are out of this world yummy. If you have never had lamb before, lamb ribs are a good place to start!

I fell in love with lamb ribs at a local barbecue restaurant, Jack’s Stack. This is the restaurant where we always take our out of towners for their first taste of Kansas City barbecue. The atmosphere is that of a 60’s supper club zapped by the wand of a fairy in cowgirl boots. It’s noisy without sounding like Boy Scout camp. It is always crowded with business people, families, and locals of all ages. The best waitstaff in the city who can answer any question you would ever ask about the menu. Drinks flow, food rolls out, and believe it or not, their creme brulee is some of the best I have ever tasted. Who knew? In a barbecue place? Their barbecue is world famous and they even have an online mail order. I have ordered the meats as a gift and it is every bit as good as what is served in the restaurant on a daily basis.

The second visit is reserved for any of our local, small mom and pop barbecue places. The kind of places that smell like delicious hickory smoke and french fry grease and you place your order up at the counter where a guy yells the order back to the cook and never writes anything down. The kind of places that usually have a roll of paper towels sitting on a wooden picnic table. No creme brulee and no Merlot….not that that is a bad thing. Note: every barbecue place is different. No two barbecue places have the same taste. That is the beauty of barbecue and everyone has their favorite two…or five places they like to go to.

Many years ago, we took some out of town family members to a small mom and pop barbecue joint for their first taste of Kansas City barbecue. The place was close to home and we were regular customers. The barbecue was smokey goodness, tender, and the beans were to die for. The place had ambiance, but not the kind they were used to in a restaurant. The meat came wrapped in white butcher paper with a few slices of Wonder bread sitting on top of the saucy topped meats. I think it was a little bit of culture shock for them. One of the relatives would not even taste the baby back ribs nor the brisket. She saw the pink smoke ring and thought the ribs and brisket were cooked rare. Second mistake of the evening….we laughed. We explained what smoked meats were and all about the smoke ring, she was not convinced. If meat was not cooked well done, she was not eating it. And so she didn’t. We learned a very important lesson that night: Ease them into the best barbecue in the country…..Kansas City barbecue!

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