Chef's Recipes

Downtown ribs

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for downtown ribs by Andrew McConnell from Supernormal, Melbourne.

By Andrew McConnell
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs cooking plus marinating
  • Serves 4
  • Print
Downtown ribs
"Lamb ribs are delicious and a great snack for large groups," says Andrew McConnell. "They work well for entertaining because most of the preparation can be done a day ahead." Start this dish a day ahead to marinate the lamb.


  • 2 lamb racks (about 400gm each)
  • For frying: grapeseed oil
  • To serve: fried sliced garlic and lemon wedges (optional)
Spice mix
  • 150 gm brown sugar
  • 50 gm roasted dry chilli powder
  • 25 gm smoked paprika
  • 25 gm (1/3 cup) coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 25 gm (½ cup) Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp (heaped) white peppercorns
  • 8 star anise
  • 2 gm (1 tsp) cloves


  • 1
    For spice mix, combine sugar and spices in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind to a fine powder.
  • 2
    Coat lamb ribs in a generous amount of the spice mix, reserving some for serving, cover and refrigerate overnight to marinate.
  • 3
    Cook racks in a steamer over a saucepan of boiling water until soft and giving (1½-2 hours), then refrigerate until chilled (1-2 hours).
  • 4
    Slice racks into ribs and grill on a barbecue or fry in a non-stick frying pan until golden and caramelised (3-5 minutes). Serve immediately scattered with extra spice mix, fried garlic slices and lemon wedges.


Drink Suggestion: Asahi Super Dry “Dry Black” lager, Osaka. Crisp and refreshing, and the nuttiness of the toasted malt combines well with the rich lamb. Drink suggestion by Leanne Altmann