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Somewhere Between Lamb Jambalaya and Lamb Etouffee

I had a set of lamb ribs that I was dreaming about for a couple of days.  This morning, when I climbed out of bed to build a fire, I stumbled on the idea that would become my meal for this afternoon.

Lamb ribs are really fatty so I knew I needed a patient and steady process of cooking and then cooking again, and then building the final meal.  First I cut the ribs in half and cooked them in a large cast iron skillet in the oven at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hours.  I used the fat dripping to start up my fire again and then put the ribs on the stove in a pot of water.  Simmering on low for an hour, I checked to make sure the oven cook off had removed the fat, and it had.

I took the ribs out and put them on a plate to cool.  Into the stock went a fine pesto of garlic, olive oil, pepper, and fresh basil.  Then I added some sliced peppers and onions.  A bit of salt to taste and then a bag of dried lentils - the large green ones.  If it had been a little further away from Orthodox Lent I would have added more vegetables...carrots and some turnips.  But, since the whole of Orthodox Lent is a cavalcade of veggies without dairy, oil, or wine, I thought I would enjoy the meat and oil with little other interruptions.

Once the meat was cooled I peeled it off the ribs, and diced it into fine cubes.  It went back into the stock and simmered for 30 minutes.  The lentils being nice and tender, I served it up in a bowl without the broth.  This was a great use of a cheaper piece of meat by taking out all of the things that make it cheap.  In this case it was the fat and bones.  The broth is there for later, or for Eli in his Iam's bowl of chunks for dinner.

Of course, it was sumptuous and earthy.  A great autumnal or wintry medley.

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