Naturally Sweet and Sticky Lamb Recipe

Make naturally sweet honey lamb ribs for a barbeque or casual supper.

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by Mette Nielsen
4 servings SERVINGS


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 3 pounds (2 racks) lamb spareribs


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, honey, garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, vinegar, and orange zest and juice.
  • Place ribs in a large dish, and pour marinade over them. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Transfer spareribs to a shallow baking dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Pour marinade into a small saucepan.
  • Bake ribs for 1 hour. Meanwhile, bring marinade to a boil over medium-high heat, and reduce liquid by half.
  • Remove ribs from oven, and spoon off excess fat. Pour sauce over ribs. Return ribs to oven and bake, uncovered, until caramelized and sticky, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let rest at room temperature for 5 minutes before cutting into individual ribs.

Also known as “lamb spareribs” or “Denver ribs,” these are one of the most cost-conscious cuts of lamb. You can also substitute them for baby back pork ribs.

Excerpted from Sweet Nature: A Cook’s Guide to Using Honey and Maple Syrup by Beth Dooley and Mette Nielsen (University of Minnesota Press). Copyright 2019 by Beth Dooley and Mette Nielsen. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the University of Minnesota Press.