Braised Lamb Riblets, Grilled Summer Squash, Apricots + Chard

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We found riblets at the farmer’s market. Only a tiny package was left, with these tiny riblets.  We ate them slowly, carefully, little delicacies in our fingers. The sweetness from the peach, crispiness from the braised, then blackened fat, and bitterness from the greens. It’s also a nice thing to grind your own spices in a mortar & pestle. You can switch up the ingredients in this recipe all you want, adding, replacing, changing the spices. The dish is super versatile, but the best part is when the braised ribs get caramelized in a skillet.

Braised Lamb Riblets, Grilled Summer Squash, Apricots + Chard
1 lb pastured lamb riblets
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp red chili flakes
Sea salt
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, chopped
Handful of fresh thyme
2 cups water or beef broth
1 tbsp butter
5 summer squashes, cut lengthwise
Huge handful chard, chopped
3 sprigs rosemary
Lemon juice
5 apricots, halved & quartered
Handful of cilantro

Bring the riblets to room temperature.
Add the pepper, coriander, cumin, chili flakes and sea salt to a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast until fragrant, 2-3 minutes and then grind in a mortar & pestle. Rub the spices into the riblets, place in a covered bowl, and let sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Heat the oven to 325*.
Place the butter to a dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the onions to the skillet, cover and saute for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, but now browned. Add the ginger and garlic, saute for a few minutes, then add the thyme, broth or water, and the riblets.
Bring to a gentle simmer, then place the dutch oven, covered, in the oven and braise for about 2 hours, until the meat is tender.
About 15 minutes before serving, heat the grill, and cook the summer squash.
Remove the riblets from the braise, and cut them into individual ribs, reserving the braising liquid for roasting future vegetables.
Heat a skillet, add some olive oil or butter to the pan, and add the chard and rosemary. Season the greens with lemon juice & sea salt, and then throw the apricots in the with greens. Cover the skillet, turn the heat down and allow to cook for a few minutes until the greens and apricots are slightly wilted & cooked down.
In the meantime, heat another skillet, add a little oil or butter, and sear the ribs until the fat starts to caramelize on all sides.
Serve the riblets with the chard, squash, and apricots, sprinkle with cilantro and a grind of salt & pepper.
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Herbed Meatballs in Ginger Curry Broth with Shishito Peppers, Arugula, Apricot, Summer Squash + Cracklings

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My favorite time to cook is often when I think I have nothing left to work with in my fridge. It forces me to be creative, to leave behind my go-tos and come up with new ways to enjoy ingredients that I often use. As I was cooking this meal my mom brought me some pig cracklings she made from the pigs we raised on our family ranch. They are the perfect topping, savory with a crunch and melt in your mouth ending. This meal may seem like many steps but it is uncomplicated and adjustable depending on what you have left in your fridge, just read through the recipe before starting so you have all of your ingredients ready.

Ginger Curry Broth
11/2 inch ginger, peeled & finely chopped
1 scallion, chopped
1 can coconut milk + 1/2 can water
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder or paste
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chili pepper flakes
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil

Add the coconut oil to a skillet, melt and then add onions. Cook at medium heat, covered, until softened, then add the ginger. Cook for a few minutes-10 or so- until the onions are translucent, but not browned or burning. Add the can of coconut milk, water and the spices to taste. I keep the curry seasonings light so that the ginger isn’t overpowered. Pour the mix into a small saucepan and turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Shishito Peppers, Arugula, Apricot, Summer Squash + Cracklings
1/2 lb shishito peppers
1/2 lemon juiced
2-3 small yellow summer squash, chopped
2 handfuls arugula
1 apricot, halved and quartered
cracklings
1 tbsp coconut oil
sea salt & pepper

In a medium-high skillet, add the coconut oil and shishito peppers. Coat in lemon juice, salt & pepper. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or so, stirring every so often. During this time, start the herbed meatballs. When the shishito’s are browned well, add the summer squash. Cover and cook for another 6-8 minutes, then add the arugula and apricots. Make a little space in the pan to heat the cracklings, or fry them in another skillet. Season to taste, this will serve on top of the meatballs and curry.

Herbed Meatballs
1 lb grass fed ground beef
1 tsp sea salt & pepper
3 sprigs of fresh oregano
1 egg
1/8 cup of coconut flour
1 tbsp coconut oil

Using your hands, mix the ground beef with the salt & pepper, oregano, egg and coconut flour. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat, shape the meatballs, and add them to the pan. Cook until crisp and browned, then flip.

To serve: Add the meatballs to a bowl, spoon curry over and then add the vegetables and cracklings.