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Mountain meal recipe: Hawaiian style lamb ribs

“Colorado cuisine is a conglomeration of many cultures,” Chef Kevin Clarke of the Colorado Mountain College Culinary Institute told aspiring cooks at the Keystone Culinary Festival. “Hawaiian flavors enhance the flavors of Colorado lamb perfectly.”

While you may not think of Colorado as the capital of international flavors and cuisines, the state and the chefs that come here are on the brink of a foodie revolution — sparking a new type of cooking unique to the mountains. A combination of the natural benefits like the altitude, 300+ days of sunshine a year, and fresh air as well as that cultural conglomeration make the food from the mountains irresistible.

Clarke was inspired by these friendly flavors in creating this recipe for Hawaiian style lamb ribs below. Check out the recipes for Breckenridge Bass with chimichurri, Cider cured pork  tenderloin, and Hawaiian style lamb ribs here.

Hawaiian Style Lamb Ribs
Yield: 4 portions of 12 oz.
Prep time: 20 minutes (plus one hour to marinate)
Cooking time: 1 hour
Recommended sides: Seaweed salad (available at Asian grocery stores readymade). Or buy the Hawaiian/Japanese dried Hijiki seaweed and make your own. Use the mehijiki style which comes from the leaves of the plant. A Carolina style- vinegar based cole slaw works well too.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 pounds Colorado Lamb Denver spare Ribs – two 8 bone racks
  • 1 ¼ cup light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 scallions, sliced

To cook:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Whisk together brown sugar, light soy sauce, sesame oil, chile flakes, garlic, ginger, and ¼ cup water in large non-reactive bowl large enough to hold the marinade and the ribs. Add the ribs and toss to coat.
  3. Cover the bowl and let marinate for at least one hour at room temperature or refrigerate overnight. Turn occasionally to coat.
  4. Remove the ribs from the marinade and arrange, curved side up, on a rack set over a rimmed foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Reserve the marinade.
  5. While the ribs are cooking, heat the marinade in a 2-qt. saucepot over medium heat and simmer until thick and syrupy, about 15 minutes.
  6.  When the marinade is ready, baste the ribs with the reduced marinade and continue cooking until nicely browned and glazed and tender, about 25 minutes. Turn frequently to avoid burning.


–Morgan Bast

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