Café Rouge’s Denver Ribs with Salsa Verde

Marsha McBride is the chef/owner of Café Rouge, a restaurant and meat market in Berkeley that features Niman Ranch meats. Marsha made these ribs for our first Lamb Ranch Picnic last spring and they were a smashing success, so we thought we’d share the recipe with you.



5 pounds Niman Ranch Denver ribs

1 bottle red wine

1 cup olive oil

3 branches of fresh rosemary

5 whole garlic cloves, smashed

Peel of one lemon, grated

Salt and pepper

Salsa Verde

1 cup whole peppermint leaves chopped

4 cups Italian parsley, chopped

1/2 cup nicoise olives coarsely chopped

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes coarsely chopped

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

2 cups extra virgin olive oil

Zest of one lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions

For the Ribs

  1. Combine herbs, wine, oil and seasonings. Marinate the ribs for 24 hours, turning several times.
  2. Grill over a low fire 1 hour until lamb is tender and starts to fall from the bone.

A note on grilling lamb from Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby in their book How to Cook Meat, (William Morrow, 2000): Since lamb contains a fair amount of fat that can drip into the fire and cause flare-ups, make sure you have a section of the grill with no coals so you can move the lamb there to let any flare-ups die down.

For the Salsa Verde

  1. While the ribs are cooking, mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Serve room temperature spread lightly atop the ribs immediately after they leave the grill.

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