Lamb ribs with sweet zhoug

This tasty recipe from fire pit chefs James and Adam Thomas starts with an oven roast and ends with a flame grill – serve in a generous pool of zhoug to finish the dish off.

Delicious gourmet grilled lamb
Published: July 4th, 2022 at 8:47 am

Cooking on an open fire is one of life's greatest joys - and it's simple, too, according to fire pit chefs James and Adam Thomas of the Pit Kitchen.

The Thomas brothers believe that cooking over embers brings ultimate flavour to your food, whether you're a meat-eater, vegetarian or vegan. And simple is always better; use the best-quality ingredients you can find in your local area and you can't go wrong.

Never cooked on open flames before? Learn more about open-fire cooking before trying this delicious lamb recipe.


For the meat

  • 30g Fine salt
  • 1 Lamb breast
  • Sunflower oil/lamb fat
  • 1 Bulb garlic
  • 20 Peppercorns
  • 3 Sprigs thyme
  • 3 Bay leaves

For the sauce

  • 3 Padron Peppers charred and chopped
  • 25g Grated garlic
  • 30g Lemon juice
  • 30g Fresh Coriander blanched for 15 secs in boiling water and straight into ice water before draining thoroughly (not absolutely necessary but helps make a smooth sauce)
  • 40 Fresh Mint as above
  • 30g Fresh Parsley as above
  • 50g 50g Honey add in stages to taste - the sauces should have a noticeable sweetness as well as acidity to balance against the fatty lamb)
  • 90g Olive oil or Rapeseed Oil
  • 20g Cider Vinegar
  • 3g Salt
  • 2g Green Cardamom Ground
  • 3g Cumin Ground


  • STEP 1

    The night before cooking, salt the lamb breast on all sides and leave in the fridge overnight. Remove and add it to a suitably sized pan or tray - one deep enough that it can be safely covered with oil/lamb fat. Add all aromatics and cover with fat. Cover with foil and cook at 130C for 3-3½ hours until the meat is tender.

  • STEP 2

    Allow to cool in fat before carefully removing. You can reserve and re-use the oil again and again. After a while you will see that it will extract lamb fat and eventually you can use that fat to confit it entirely, or use it elsewhere in the menu, for example in a butter or marinade. Carefully slice between each rib, along the length of the bone, to separate pieces.

  • STEP 3

    Roast each piece of lamb over flames, moving gently to avoid falling apart and seasoning with salt on each side. Serve in a generous pool of zhoug.

  • STEP 4

    Blend all ingredients to a smooth-to-coarse paste in a blender. Taste to check sweetness and acidity - taste with a bit of lamb.

This recipe was created by James and Adam Thomas of the Pit Kitchen

Men standing in crop field
James Thomas and Adam Thomas, Pit Kitchen/Credit: James Thomas and Adam Thomas, Pit Kitchen

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