Salt-cured lamb ribs

Photo: Francois Oberholster
Photo: Francois Oberholster
This soutribbetjies is well worth the effort and will become an instant hit with family and friends.

Makes: 6 portions

Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus marinating and drying time

Cooking time: 1 hour in the pot, plus braaing time

• 1.5kg lamb rib

• 20ml brown sugar

• 200ml coarse salt

• 2ml saltpeter

• 50ml toasted coriander seeds

• brown vinegar

1 Mix the sugar, salt, saltpeter, coriander and vinegar and rub it into the meat. Place the rib in a glass or enamel dish, cover it and place in the fridge for about 2-3 days. Turn the meat in the morning and at night.

2 Now hang the meat in a cool, light place where it can air dry. If you’re in a hurry, you can place the rib on a cooling rack and let it stand in front of a fan. If you’d like to store the rib, it must be completely dry – almost like biltong – but not if you’re going to cook it immediately.

3 Rinse the dried rib and place it in a large pot (if it’s too big, halve it). Cover with water and bring to the boil. Then lower the heat to simmer for about an hour. Remove the rib from the liquid and set aside to cool.

4 Press the meat dry with kitchen paper and slowly braai the rib over mild heat and slow coals until golden brown and cooked. Cut into portions and serve.


• If the meat has been cut through the breast bone, it’s easier to portion before serving; ask your butcher to help you.

• To toast coriander seeds, dry-fry them in a heavy-bottomed pan over mild heat until they release a strong aroma. Then finely grind or crush them using a mortar and pestle; use a tea strainer to separate all the hard bits.

• Score the ribs to allow for faster drying.

• Saltpeter adds a lovely pink colour but you can leave it out altogether if you prefer.

• You can add finely ground all spice.

• Dried salted ribs are perfect to take along on your next camping trip.

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