Grilled Lamb Ribs with Quick Preserved Lemons

Michael Symon, who grew up in a Greek and Sicilian family, often adds Greek accents when he cooks. He seasons lamb ribs with oregano and coriander before grilling and serves them with tangy, quick-preserved lemons. Slideshow:  More Grilled Lamb Recipes 

Grilled Lamb Ribs with Quick Preserved Lemons
Photo: John Kernick
Active Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 45 mins


Preserved Lemons

  • 2 lemons, scrubbed and quartered lengthwise

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt


  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt

  • 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon minced oregano

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 2 racks well-trimmed meaty lamb spareribs (5 pounds total)

  • Lemon juice, for brushing


Make the preserved lemons

  1. In a saucepan, combine the lemon quarters with 1 cup of water and the salt and cook over moderately low heat until the lemon peels are tender and the liquid is reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Let the lemons cool in the brine.

  2. Transfer the lemons to a work surface; finely chop. Return the chopped lemons to the brine and refrigerate until chilled.

Make the ribs

  1. Set up a grill for indirect cooking by lighting only one side of a gas grill or raking hot coals to one side of a charcoal grill. In a bowl, whisk together all of the spices. Brush the lamb ribs with lemon juice; season all over with the rub.

  2. Arrange the ribs on the grill. Cover and cook for about 1 hour, until well browned, maintaining a temperature of about 300°; add more coals if needed.

  3. Layer 2 large sheets of heavy-duty foil on a work surface and set 1 rack of ribs, meat side up, in the center. Fold the foil tightly around the ribs. Repeat with the second rack of ribs. Arrange the rib packets meat side up on the grill. Cover and grill for 1 hour, until tender but not falling apart, turning the packets over after 30 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and let rest for 15 minutes, then unwrap.

  4. Set the grill up for direct cooking by lighting all of the burners or raking the hot coals. Grill the rib racks meat side down over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly charred all over, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a carving board, tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut the ribs between the bones; serve with the preserved lemons.

Make Ahead

The lemons can be refrigerated for 1 week.

Suggested Pairing

Smoky Syrah.

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