Lamb is readily available in most supermarkets. The freshest lamb will have soft pink and red flesh with marbling throughout. Avoid anything that looks grey in color.
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Wrap the lamb in it in its original packaging, airtight, with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. From there, you can also place the meat in an airtight freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. Chops and loins fare best when wrapped individually.
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Lamb can be defrosted in three ways. As with most meat, refrigeration is the most effective, albeit slowest method. Lamb meat defrosted in the fridge can actually be re-frozen before or after cooking, though there may be a loss of moisture. If you're in a pinch, lamb can be defrosted in the microwave, or placed in a bowl of cold water (which should be replaced every 30 minutes).
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Raw pork ribs can be refrigerated in their original packaging. The meat typically stays fresh for three to five days, but can last even longer if it remains unopened.
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Overwrap pork ribs in their original packaging with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper. Ribs can last from four to six months in the freezer.
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The fastest way to thaw ribs isn't necessarily the best. You can always use the defrost setting on your microwave and determine thawing time based on weight, but this may start to cook the meat. Alternatively, you can place the frozen ribs in a freezer bag and allow them to sit in a bowl of cold water. Continue to replace the cold water every 30 minutes. The most effective and time-consuming option is to place the ribs in the fridge, though a rack may take up for three days to fully thaw. Plan ahead!
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San Francisco’s Nopa is the ultimate neighborhood restaurant. Though the eatery’s known for its burger, Chef Laurence Jossel’s menu has a distinctly Mediterranean influence. The more sophisticated dishes, such as these lamb riblets, are major crowd-pleasers.
What to buy: Denver ribs, also known as riblets, consist of seven to eight ribs that are cut from the lamb breast and belly. You’ll have to special order them from your butcher, so be sure to plan ahead accordingly. And make sure the butcher doesn’t separate them into individual ribs; ask for the whole rack.
Harissa is a North African chile and spice paste that adds a nice dose of heat to foods. You can make it yourself, or easily find it in a jar or tube at most gourmet markets.
This recipe was featured as part of both our Modern Potluck story and our Bar Snacks photo gallery.