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In The Kitchen: Improvised Lamb Ribs, Fatty Cue style

_MG_2823 - Version 2

Back in those far-flung days or warmth and happiness that I like to call 'summertime,' I came across Sam Sifton's 'The Cheat' column featuring Fatty Cue's delicious rib recipe. Given how much I enjoyed the meals I've had there, I was very excited about trying it out. But then I never managed to get out and do much barbecuing last summer and my window passed. Now it's ridiculously cold and I can't even get my back door open through all the snow.

Instead, I improvised my own take on the recipe using lamb ribs and letting my slow cooker do most of the work. The result doesn't have any of the smokiness that insinuates itself into every tender scrap of meat at the restaurant, but it's something I can make now without having to wait for the thaw. Check out the step by step after the jump.

Fatty 'Cue lamb ribs (Adapted from Sam Sifton who adapted from Robbie Richter and Zakary Pelaccio)

2 cups fish sauce
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 small onion, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sugar
2-3 lbs lamb ribs
2 tablespoons toasted and ground Indonesian long pepper, or to taste (see note)
6 ounces palm sugar (see note)

1. Combine 1 1/2 cups fish sauce and 1 quart water with the garlic, onion, black pepper and sugar in slow cooker. Stir until sugar has dissolved.

2. Add ribs to slow cooker. top off with water to cover.

3. Cook on 'simmer' setting for 6 hours or until meat is tender. (Can be done ahead at this point. If so, let cool, remove from cooking liquid and refrigerate.)

4. When ready to finish, bring ribs to room temperature and turn on broiler.

5. Make glaze: Combine the palm sugar and 3/4 cup water in a small pot over a medium flame, and heat until the sugar melts, 15-20 minutes. Combine that simple syrup with the remaining 1/2 cup fish sauce.

6. Place ribs flat in cast iron skillet. Do this in batches if necessary to avoid crowding. Brush with glaze and broil for 3-4 minutes each side. Ribs will be crisp and slightly charred around the edges, but meat should remain moist.

Serves 2 to 4.

Note: Three Crabs fish sauce, long pepper and palm sugar can be found at Amazon.com or Kalustyans.com.

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