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Gluten-Free Mediterranean: Paidakia (Crispy Lamb Ribs)

Try this fantastic recipe for Paidakia (Crispy Lamb Ribs) shared with Active Retirees by Helen Tzouganatos from her cookbook Gluten-Free Mediterranean.

I love all types of ribs – sticky, sweet, charred – but my favourite are those with a dry spice rub and a crispy crust. If you’ve never cooked ribs before, the good news is this simple method is virtually failproof. The Mediterranean spice mix comes together in seconds and all that follows is an easy two-step process. First, for tender meat, wrap the ribs tightly like a Christmas present so the hot trapped steam breaks down the collagen, then finish them off under a hot grill until crispy and charred.



3 x 500 g lamb rib racks, fat trimmed
lemon wedges, to serve

Spice Mix
1⁄2 tablespoons sea salt flakes
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan-forced).

Place a 30 cm × 60 cm sheet of foil on a large baking tray. Lay a sheet of baking paper of equal size on the foil, then place the ribs on top.

Combine the spice mix in a bowl, then firmly massage the mix all over the ribs. Cover the ribs with another sheet of baking paper. Using only both sheets of baking paper, tightly enclose the ribs to form a parcel. Repeat this process with the foil so you have a tightly wrapped parcel (you may need to use some extra foil sheets layered in the opposite direction to achieve this).

Bake for 2 hours or until the meat is tender. Remove the tray from the oven and turn the oven grill to high. Using kitchen scissors, carefully cut open the top of the parcel to uncover the ribs. Spoon the lamb juices in the parcel over the meat, then place the ribs under the hot grill for 5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Serve with lemon wedges.


  • To cut down on your preparation time and ensure your ribs are not overly fatty, ask your butcher to trim the fatty cap on the ribs.
  • Placing a sheet of baking paper between the foil and the meat prevents the meat from sticking to the foil and creates an extra layer of insulation to trap the steam.

Gluten-Free Mediterranean by Helen Tzouganatos, published by Plum, RRP $44.99, photography by Jeremy Simons.