Barbecued lamb breast with malt vinegar sauce

Lamb ribs with vinegar sauce
  • Main
  • medium
  • 4
  • 20 minutes, plus 3 hours to slow-cook

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This is a riff on southern American barbecue but I’ve given it a British twist. The rub is made with white pepper, mustard powder and bay leaves and the sauce is based on an Alabama vinegar sauce. I love it because you can really taste the malt vinegar. It’s a thin sauce, which you can either pour onto the ribs or (my preference) use for dipping.

  • Lamb breast

  • 1 lamb breast, weighing approximately 1.3kg
  • Spice rub

  • 1 tbsp of ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp of onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp of flaky sea salt
  • 1 tbsp of mustard powder
  • 8 bay leaves, crushed in a pestle and mortar into flakes
  • Malt vinegar sauce

  • 200ml of malt vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp of mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of tarragon, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 6 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1
These ribs are best slow cooked on a barbecue but of course can still be slow cooked in an oven at 160°C/gas mark 3 for 2.5–3 hours. If cooking on a barbecue, set up a kettle barbecue for indirect cooking
2
Blend all the rub ingredients together and rub all over the lamb
3
Place the lamb belly, skin-side down, on the opposite side of grill to the coals and pop the lid on. Set the air flow to 1/4 open at the base and leave a small crack (2mm) in the vent holes on the lid
4
Cook for 3 hours, the heat will initially be around 200°C but will drop through the cooking and settle at about 120°C for the bulk of the cooking. You should turn the belly every 45 minutes
5
To make the dipping sauce, add the sugar and finely chopped herbs to the vinegar and give it a good stir until the sugar has dissolved
6
Add the mayo and whisk until it's incorporated. Add the Worcestershire sauce and give it a final whisk
7
Once the ribs are cooked, remove from the barbecue, allow to cool a little and chop them roughly. Pour over about 1/2 of the sauce, if you like, retaining the other half for dipping
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