I used to be a now and then farmers market attendee; when it was nice out, when we happened to be up early on a Sunday (pft), when it just sounded like a good idea.
Oh how things have changed. In December, the market was closed for 2 weeks in a row, due to it falling on Christmas and New Years. Those two weeks were just short of panik inducing. I can rely on my tiny but incredible neighborhood store for an amazing selection of organic produce, and even organic chicken. But meat? Not so much. While there are stores in San Francisco that carry grass fed meats, the selection is pretty dismal. And quite often the man behind the counter feels compelled to share his thoughts on grass fed meat, and how he believes it’s inferior. Those of you who know me can probably imagine how well that conversation goes. For those of you who don’t: I have no qualms about voicing my opinion. One of my pet peeves is when people are in a position to educate others, and miseducate them instead. Don’t even get me started.
The farmers market in my neighborhood is a small one in the parking lot behind a mall. I visit 2-3 vendors there each week, and am able to purchase enough food for at least 4 days of the week. I always make a beeline for Fallon Hills for my beef, lamb, pork and eggs. I cannot even begin to tell you how happy it makes me to know where my food is coming from, and that the people running the business are genuinely good people. Also, when you buy your meat from a small ranch, they tend to have just about every part of the animal, so you get to try cuts you wouldn’t find in your super market. If you have the opportunity to develop a relationship with a local rancher, do so! *
Take these lamb riblets, for example; braised with a Moroccan rub and finished with a pomegranate molasses glaze, either on a grill or in a hot oven, they’re a great alternative to beef or pork ribs.
Pomegranate Glazed Lamb Riblets
Preheat oven to 350.
4 racks lamb riblets, about 1 pound each
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
1/2 C pure pomegranate juice
2 T blackstrap molasses
2 T paprika
2 t each:
coconut palm sugar
1/2 t each:
1/4 t each:
- Sprinkle rub onto lamb, making sure to cover all of the meaty parts.
- Place in a large oven safe dish and let sit at room temperature for one hour.
- Add the apple cider vinegar and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
- Roast for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the pomegranate glaze:
- Pour the pomegranate juice into a small sauce pan and set the heat to medium high.
- Reduce the juice by half, so you have a scant 1/4 C remaining.
- Stir in the molasses. Set aside.
- To finish in the oven: Cook an additional 5 minutes in a 450° oven.
- To finish on the grill: Heat your grill to medium high and grill for 1-2 minutes on each side.
- Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing between the bones. Serve with additional pomegranate molasses, if desired.