It’s once again an Australia Time Friday! It’s FRIDAY!!!!
Tonight will be a reprise of the Lamburger Steak:
Essentially a Saaaaaaalsssbury steak made with ground lamb. The lamb in question is Thomas Farms Free Range, product of Australia. Cost was $6-something for a pound and made two 1/2 pound steaks (one each and quite enough). Onion and garlic added with a sprinkle of salt and pepper over, then pan fried in Olive Oil for about 3 to 4 minutes a side on medium. Ooooh Yum!
This will be accompanied by a Malee Point Merlot. I’ve started it with some dry salami bits as an appitizer.
Softer and smoother than the Shiraz, but more ambitious than the usual American Merlot. I rather like it! Instead of being a sort of Cabernet Lite, it’s more like a Merlot++. It stands up well to the salami, and ought to be a very good match to the lamb and garlic.
Side of baked acorn squash, buttered, and another vegetable TBD.
So once again, let the good times roll on…
In other news, saw a clip where India has cut a deal to buy Australian barley! Remember that discussion of fungible commodities? Well, it’s happening!
I suspect there will be closer economic and military ties “going forward”. India is in a low intensity border conflict with China. We now have a “My enemy’s target” situation turning into “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”.
India, Australia Seal Landmark Deal To Use Each Other’s Military Bases For Logistics Support The mutual logistic support deal was a part of total seven agreements that have been signed between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.
Did them Oz fellows make Sheep herding legal?
My wife is the daughter of a Cattle ranch foreman. She hates Anything sheep related!
Me? I love it! But I have to sneak it.
No wonder their Shiraz is more mellow. : -)
The Merlot did pair remarkably well with the Lamburger.
The side vegetable to be named later turned into a slice of bread with Real Butter ™ that also worked well, with both wine and lamb.
I must admit, I’m really enjoying the Australian Fridays way too much. I’m already having Australian wine and lamb two times a week instead of just one (or all week as lunch and snacks for the leg-o-lamb for two people :-)
I could see making this a lifetime lifestyle choice….
While I love beef, especially prime rib end cut with a good cabernet…, it does not love me. More than once every week of two and “cow stuff” causes arthritic pain in my hands and a tendency to increased allergic reaction to other stuff (pushes the immune response to the edge of reaction, then anything kicks it over).
Lucky for me, lamb does not do that. So lamb is now my red meat of choice. And Australian my origin of choice. AND now I have an excuse for more! ;-)
You might try floating the political angle at the spouse and see if it flies…. but be prepared to duck!
Factoid: There are more sheep in New Zealand than people. My kind of place!
Good news about India. I’m very pleased as India is a fellow member of the British Commonwealth.
I enjoy an Aussie Merlot and lamb/mutton. The handful of Dorpers we have will have turned into tasty mutton as we still have some of the previous batch in the freezer! The wether twins have turned into big fat 2 and 1/2 year-olds! At least they are mowing and manuring the paddock for us and occasionally supply entertainment as do a few Angus steers.
Whether the weather will suit our wethers is another story.
I thought the intense rivalry between cattle ranchers and sheep herders was a feature of John Wayne movies (probably withdrawn by now – I saw one recently where he was a Union officer interacting with C* troops in a normal human manner). It’s never really been an issue in Australia as the climate (sequence of intense drought and good seasons lottery – sorry, from now on must be Climate Change), determines which animal is most successful, The historical rivalry was between “squatters” and “selectors”. Squatters “sort of owned” very large sheep stations, which in the 19thC, the governments clawed back (partially) and sold to farmers. All in the past. Very many properties, will run sheep for wool and / or meat “fat lambs”, beef and grain and legumes. Primarily wool stations still exist and beef cattle fall into 2 varieties – one, nurtured, including feed lots, for retail meat supply and the other, taking up most of Queensland, where the cattle do a lot of walking, for export “cheap meat”. Your retail supplies in the US (maybe not hamburger), from Australia, will be of the better quality type.
Your correspondent, Annie, who lives on a farm, eats “sheep meat” in a different way to most city dwellers. Virtually all sheep meat in retail and restaurants is lamb – up to 12 months old with “baby” as a preference. We don’t eat hogget and definitely not mutton (knowingly). It may turn up in processed meat. These less popular and smelly, older animals end up in pet food or as live sheep, cruelly shipped off to Moslem lands, where many are butchered in the backyard (Eid). The others, with fellow bovines, hacked about in the street abattoirs.
I suspect, it is much the same in the US – on a vaster scale. Do all of the components of the US (looking for PC wording), eat the same qualities of meat? We in Oz, wherever we live, have similar choices of quality (still lamb – not older).
A friend gave me a litre bottle of Hardy’s Stamp merlot. We really enjoyed it – very quaffable – low on tannins. I checked out the price. AUD 8.00 – “dirt cheap”. I’ll buy some more – not for savouring but for quaffing – and for my wife who does not like the shirazes, I prefer.
One last thought, we visited France a few years ago, staying in Bordeaux – so had to try a wine area, so we drove to St-Emilion, where we visited a premiere cru vineyard, purchasing 1 bottle of their range – approx USD 34. It was a cabernet merlot. It and the wine we tasted was extremely similar to same variety wine we drink in Australia (less cost). So when you talk about drinking an Australian or Californian merlot, the skill of modern winemaking, allows all of these to have similar taste (slightly affected by the grape).
You may have read/seen news about Australian imitation of BLM “protests”. Not even a shadow of what is occurring in the US. Our aboriginal – or those “who identify as such” are more comparable to your “injuns” (1st nationionals). Our recent non-Europeans are mostly very aspirational. Nothing compares to the US (or Brazil or similar). As they try in OZ, the virtue signallers, concerned about an individual’s human rights, have made the lot of your problem people more difficult as they are now prided on not fitting in to the nation.
Sheep factoid. Sheep in Oz are well spread – say 10/acre. In NZ it’s hard to see the grass as there are orders of magnitude of the numbers in the same area. NZ has dependable rain. There is probably a good argument for Australia buying its lamb from NZ and using the same resources for say, goats which are hardier.
After a supply run and the rest of the day on woody weed control (Grasslan ahead of some maybe rain” here it is corned beef, veges and white sauce with Great Northern Original
The deal between India & Australia is great news and interesting.
The curious thing is that it has had no mass media attention at all so far. I think that if any journo’s have heard about it, it did not compute with their biases. But maybe the fact that it happened via video link rather than by ScoMo actually going to India made a difference..
PS We have actual lamb steaks here also from Thomas Meats. Also delicious.
PPS The Merlot is good and it’s great you discovered it. But there are some other rare grapes being grown here in SA which make excellent wine Eg Tempranillo.. And I tried out a wine last week made from a grape variety originally from Sicily..which does well in hot areas.. ( the name has vanished..Must get some more from Dan Murphy’s)
It does have interesting implications for the whole Commonwealth and even Brexit.
Sort of a British Empire redux but with voluntary association instead of empire.
It would be an interesting development should it happen. Even as just Australia & India in a tie up, it reminds China they are not the only game in town…
I really like corned beef, but for some reason Australian beef isn’t imported here (that I can find). But no worries, I’ll eat the lamb and the locals can fill up on the beef!
@Bill in Oz:
The major news is far too “LOOK! Squirrel! ” and TDS driven navel gazing to look at the rest of the world and think strategically. Journalism (real classical form) still survives in the rest of the world, but the USA is now mostly (all?) “Infotainment”. Why I’m more likely to link an Indian paper than the NYT or check out Australian Sky News and RT instead of ABC / CBS / NBC.
I’d love to try the odd variety grapes, but our importers are fixated on the well known types. I had to walk most of the store (and it is a big one) just to find a half dozen Australian wines. Pinot Grigio and Shiraz are about as edgy as they had (along with Cabernet & Merlot). The white section was full of New Zealand whites, but only the one Australian Pinot Grigio and a Yellowtail Chardonnay.
I know N.Z. has a better climate for making German style whites, but I’m pretty sure somewhere in Taz has got to match it!
Oh well. A half dozen vintners in 6 grape varieties ought to keep me busy for a while and help take up some slack in the China trade. (Well, maybe not ALL the slack! I’m not that much a lush!)
Would that Italian grape be Zinfandel? We grow a lot of it here in hotter areas.
‘ . . . and another vegetable TBD ”
I classify corn on the cob as a vegetable. Tomatoes, also.
Neither will be local here for a month or more, but price is
dropping in the stores, so no longer classed as exotic.
Also, we do batter-fried cauliflower.
[seeds on the outside = veggie]
Isn’t corn on the cob usually considered a vegetable?
I know, fruit is seeds inside and vegetables are non-seed parts of plants, formally… but I generally use the simplified approach that divides food into animal and vegetable. So yeah, I too call ketchup a vegetable. And corn (on the cob or canned/ frozen).
What’s a fruit? Why a sweet vegetable, of course! :-)
Most folks in the USA think the world of meat consists of beef and chicken (with a strange tasting giant chicken called stupid – turkey- showing up one day a year) along with two things called “bacon” and “ham” that they are unsure of the origin. Truly savvy Americans, mostly in the south, know of Pulled Pork, sausages, and pork chops and that they come from hogs and pigs. Rarely you will find someone, often 1st generation American like me on Mums side, that knows a lamb is not just a verse in a bible or a fluffy thing on cartoon shows.
(Yes, apply /sarc;)
Some stores have no lamb at all. Not found it in a Walmart yet (and I keep looking).
One store has the ground (minced) lamb. Not found it anywhere else. A few will have lamb chops. Occasionally you will find a leg-o-lamb (now almost universally boneless and from Australia or New Zealand though I’ve not seen N.Z. in years and the last one I saw with the bone was maybe a decade+ ago; and that was in an Indian (India Indian) market in Orlando with a custom butcher shop with odd things desired by their customer base.
America also has a LOT of minor ethnic markets. I regularly shop at a Persian place for a tea I like. I also like the Indian markets as they have small pressure cookers (Hawkins originally from the U.K.) I like and some other interesting bits ;-) (Including canned mutton but I’ve not tried it).
I once had mutton, and found it tasty. It would seem that some of us LIKE “gamy”. It reminded me of goat, that I also liked (darker and more flavor than lamb). The goat was about 55 years ago and from a local farm. Only seen goat once since, at that Orlando Indian bazaar…
So IF you have a local ethnic market, you can get things the way that ethnicity likes. I’ve spotted a Halal butcher that’s popped up in the last year or two, and intend at some point to stop in and check out their lamb selection. It being almost impossible to get things like kidney or liver in “modern supermarkets”… I love liver and onions, and kidney pie… (steak optional ;-)
The local Mexican Market has a good selection of “alternative meats” as well. Chicken already spiced up. Organ meats. Tripe and such (menudo…) The local Asian supermarket also has some odd bits (including ‘other birds’… even quail eggs). LOTS of fish choices too. Not seen lamb there though (but didn’t look that hard).
So it’s a bit of hunting to find lamb at all, and then your choices are the one or two things that store decided to stock (like shoulder blade chops vs the T bone chops, OR a lamb shank / leg but not usually both). Oh Well.
Mostly this was, I think, due to lamb costing more per pound than beef and way more than chicken or pork. USA origin lamb more than Australian. (Like $12 to $14 / pound for T-bone chops, $7 / pound for shoulder blade chops). Australian is usually a dollar or 2 a pound less for chops. Go figure. I can get leg-o-lamb at COSTCO for about $7 / lb and not seen USA sourced legs in a year or three (or more). I think Safeway chops are US grown.
Oh, us Southerners know that fish is meat, too; especially largemouth bass or catfish. ;P Oh, there’s crayfish and shrimp. too. :)
I’m in luck on lamb. Kroger has for years always bought the Grand Champion Lamb at the State Fair. Others bid them up for fun and to give the 4-H kid enough money for college. But Kroger will not be outbid. Second & Third place get nice little paydays for their efforts, too. Then Kroger buys the rest from the farm kids at very fair market price.
The Grand Champion probably goes to Kroger Corporate for the executive dining room. The rest gets parceled out to Kroger stores for regular retail, but they always have a promotion that week for “State Fair Lamb.” It is first rate lamb, prime if they grade lamb that way, as all the farm kids have put their best effort and care into their entry and many were top winners at their county fairs before the kids moved up to compete with their lamb at the State level.
Oh, the prices are very good. Kroger does not upcharge for the premium lamb. I think their goal is to get more people eating lamb as our State is in the beef-pork-chicken belt. Lamb has a little better margin, so of course Kroger wants to carry and sell more… but the demand has to be built up.
I love State Fair Lamb week!
Re vegetables – IIRC there is a bit of logic that says as cocoa comes from a tree it makes chocolate a vegetable
We couldn’t get proper lamb during our time in Texas. We went to the local carniceria to find kidney so as to make traditional English Steak and Kidney pudding (with suet crust pastry) to feed to our Texas neighbours. Who were bemused, I think.
I grew up with catchin’ crawfish… maybe I’m honorary Southerner? ;-)
We had a big tray of crawfish at our Cray inauguration (yeah, they called them Cray fish… but the folks I grew up around were a mixed bag in farm country… some Grapes Of Wrath survivors).
Had some at a Louisiana restaurant just off I-10 a mile or 3 in from the west. Thought I was going to burst into flame! “It was good though!” (Punch line to a moose turd pie joke).
I like ’em better with butter and medium spice….
I gotta find me a Krogers… ;-)
So…. my morning coffee counts as a serving of vegetables? Nice! And Irish Coffee ought to be 3 servings of vegetables. Coffee, cocoa, and barley! Wow! I like the way you think!
Yeah, Texas is very beef centric with honorable mention for hogs. Mexican grocers still do the whole critter so for those of us who like liver, kidney, menudo, etc. It’s a good place to shop.
We still have a lot of choice in purchasing our favourite hoofed protein. There are the supermarket chains which offer a wide range of beef, lamb, pork, veal and chicken, and single “butcheries”, usually in a shopping mall or in some areas, in roadside “old fashioned” street side, shopping centres. These offer a broader range in cuts and usually charge more. You are more likely to get kidneys, livers etc. We also have many “ethnic” butcheries, concentrated in certain suburbs or precincts. Vietnamese Chinese – specialising in every cut of pork with other meat, Halal, Kosher, Indian, Chinese Cantonese – pork and ducks, etc. There are exotics such as tripe, which any single butchery can supply on request and all sorts of poultry. The mass of people don’t go past the supermarket, but the other choices are close at hand. The other feature of the independent butchery, is its endeavours in charcuterie. There are sausages of every shape, size and composition. A butcher shop near me, specialises in tomahawk cuts so US like persons, who must have BIG, are catered for.
Where I live, a lot of veal is sold, reflecting the central European origin of many residents. There are a wide range of eateries, most “ethnic”, regardless of the locals, offering every style, variety, cut of meat you could ever want – at very reasonable prices – and all home delivery now.
My biggest disappointment in Sydney, is in the quality of fruit, sold in supermarkets or large fruit and vegetable shops. The variety of fruit most offerred, is “cold storage”. There is rarely any attempt to display the fruit’s provenance. An exception is Californian cherries which are always good. Almost every piece of fruit has a tiny, fresh bowl life, My wife, thinks, that any decent fruit produced in Australia is shipped off to Asia. There are markets but here often, the fruit doesn’t have refrigeration, so is wilted and sunlight effected. I haven’t been able to buy a bag of fresh, ripe mandarins (not sure of US name – soft cousins of oranges) successfully for many years and nearly all strawberries, which may be even fresh, tend to be gassed while not yet fully ripe, so are tasteless no matter their colour..
It’s still very comfortable to live here and there is an abundance of good, cheap wine – which has special tax status to keep the price low. And when you must have a McDonalds and coke, you don’t have to go far for satisfaction.
@EM – unfortunately with my wife’s aversion to sheep, my only source was Outback. Until they went to carry out only when they dropped it, Now that we are finally doing eat in, I am hoping they will bring it back! I can test my IBS on lamb!
I am tired of the democrat fascism..
@EM – Corn in any form, is a grain, Like wheat, barley rye etc,
It is a big grain! But it is a grain,
Courtesy of the Adkins diet.
@ EM. When visiting Dubai, impossible at present, I used to buy packs of minced (‘lamb’) sheep meat to cook for our grandchildren. If you have a new Halal butcher nearby, you might well find some there.
In Cyprus, goat and sheep were interchangeable.
@ Michael Lewis. The butcher who did our farm slaughter and preparation (2 wether/almost hogget and 1 decidedly hogget) said he prefers hogget and mutton and thinks lamb too bland. He also said that a lot labelled as lamb in the supermarkets is actually hogget! I’m inclined to agree with him; our meat was delicious and tender (need to fish in the bottom of the chest freezer, there might still be some left, buried by packs of salmon and barramundi from Aldi and preserved fruit from our trees).
Give me real meat any day rather than some vegan pseudo-meat. Soy disagrees with me anyway; it’s not in my genes to cope with it.
I tend to prefer Merlot to other styles of red but like ‘champagne’ best! ATM though, we are tending to a couple of pink gins each evening!
@ EM. We have a local friend who runs Black Angus for export to the USA market. They are certified grass-fed and are beautiful animals. The standards are very strict.
The Sicilian grape variety mentioned is probably Nero d’Avola**. Very smooth, fruity wine becoming more common*. Australian winemakers haven’t got all the restrictions that apply to european wines, and experiment with techniques/varieties/different areas; so much so that there is a “area class” called South East Australia where the grapes may have been grown in any of 3 States and transported in bulk for hundreds of miles and blended. This probably applies to the MALLEE POINT Merlot you had. Made incidentally by Casella who also make Yellow Tail wines.
Being able to source from a larger area and blending reduces the variation in vintages as occurrs in Europe, except parts of France where every vintage is excellent (keep the price up).
* When selected for growing out here (after passing quarantine) 2 of the bigger producers planted at least a square mile each. Not quite the european approach of 2 or 3 rows often with different owners.
** Saw a wine where Nero d’Avola is blended with Sangiovese to soften it (I’m not a fan of straight sangiovese).
Grain? You mean hard vegetable kernels don’t you?
Unfortunately, the USA beef industry hides “county of origin” so no way to tell where it comes from.
@Graeme No 3:
In California we do a lot of trucking and blending too. Though I was surprised at that bottle blended and bottled in California from Australian wine. That was a bit much ;-)
California likes to make a consistent product. Typically very good every year, never bad, but also rarely truly spectacular. ONCE I had a Monterey Coast Cabernet that really did taste chocolaty. Went back and bought a whole case. Gone in 2 months. Went back for more and the entire vintage was sold out. Never found one since that was as good and really chocolaty, despite the claims about them. Different years from the same winery were just not the same. Special weather, one year only. 1986 I think it was…
Interesting… New Zealand, about the size of California, produces 6 times as much lamb as the whole USA:
(Found while looking up what hogget was…)
@EM – I am just parroting Adkins. Actually, before it was adkins, I was doing it (and lost 40 pound back in the 80s). Corn is a big grain. Wheat, barley, etc. And starches. Potatoes (or potawtoes). And cassava. Starch turns to sugar in the body. Adkins says that is a no-no. I should have written a book as I figured that out back in 1986. (I did win $100 by following that diet, which was a lot in those days). Buy I did not patent it as I figured everyone knew that!
I have the fault of assuming everyone knows as much as I do.
NZ – about the size of Cali (if you do not count the underwater part), but with 15% of the population. So they do not have to conform to social media.
“So…. my morning coffee counts as a serving of vegetables? Nice! And Irish Coffee ought to be 3 servings of vegetables. Coffee, cocoa, and barley! Wow! I like the way you think!”
Ummm! I just borrowed it and can’t recall from where – but liked the logic.. Maybe some points for the relay.
Friends and work colleagues were used to their “leg of mutton” from the rural town butcher.
When they moved east to Brisbane they had trouble finding that cut. Until tipped to find a butcher that dealt with the restaurant trade.
Also re older sheep and edibility – tender stretch hanging in a cold room for about a week does wonders
My apologies for slow moderation tending.
There’s actually an economic reason why the best produce gets shipped away. The example from class was Main Lobster as it strongly has the effect
In Main, you find lots of little lobsters, even sold from roadside boil pots, at modest price. In California, you find big beauties at high prices. Air freight of live lobster is expensive. Call it $10 a head for illustration. Now a $5 small lobster plus shipping is $15 and nobody will, pay that for a dinky. Take a $30 lobster add shipping to $40 and folks will pay that for the extra size and quality.
This is generally true of all produce. The further and more expensive the shipping, the higher quality product shipped.
At the same time, the Main local would rather spend $25 and get 5 small lobsters than pay up $30 for one big one that isn’t as much meat… so the smaller lower quality stuff tends to stay where it is grown.
Hi, about Dependency Hell (I don’t think you can comment there aynmore). What you’re saying is SystemD is good for servers but bad for embedded systems? I’m a newb that is just studying for Comptia Linux + certificate so I can get a job, funny there are no System Administrators now on job boards, only Technical Support Engineers and some such… Afterwards I’m going to study AWS since most companies are asking for that qualification now and after that maybe I’ll take a look on what embedded world has to offer.
Oh and I felt the Dependency Hell, I was just trying to have Skype and Viber I think installed at the same time, nope! So I just mindlessly installed additional libraries or older versions, I was sick of it and just wanted it to work. Also had an error for quite some time on automatic system update, so I googled the error and tried to fix it, nope! It’s working now but I don’t remember if I’ve done anything. This is on Ubuntu 18.04.
The topic would work better on the WOOD open discussion thread, but I’m not hung up on thread purity.
INHO SystemD is not better for anything. The embedded system folks care a lot more about low resource demand and easy reliable operation so have resisted SystemD a bit better. Folks running big server farms of virtual machines like it for fast vm boots.
IMHO it trys to do too many things in parallel at boot so ordering is indeterminate. That means sometimes dependencies work, sometimes not. Yes, SystemD provides facilities to force ordering, but then first you must work out what to do.
Not sure that this will help with your wine selection but just in case:-
“Found! Crystal Ball for wine regions “charting” climate to 2100”
I took an Aussie corned beef (bought from the local supermarket) on Friday last, soaked some of the salt out of it for a few hours, coated in spice mix and vac sealed for a night. Next day cranked up the Kamado and smoked it for 4.5 hours at 120 C (248F). Best Pastrami I’ve had.
While the pastrami was smoking I smoked myself on some Pirate Life Brewing “Loose Lips Sink Ships” … massive triple IPA that lands punches at 12%. Scroll down to the bottom on https://piratelife.com.au/fifth-birthday-beers/
Oh, and that Grange Hermitage from last week … outstanding. Longest finish on a wine I can recall, easily 10-15 minutes before the flavours dispersed on your palate.
Would love to post some pics… can that be done?
Put your photo on a sharing service with a url that ends in a known type (like .png or .jpg) and then just stick that url in a comment.
Graeme #3, yes Nero DS’Avola it was..And I must get to Dan Murphy’s fir a bottle or two tomorrow
Per the above…. Here’s the beer :
… and the pastrami
Damn that pastrami looks good…
I’m really thinking Ruben & Rye beer ;-)
@Timster! OI! You are in heaven! Enjoy! I would love to share when we can mingle again!
@EM – I am thinking of just a Sailor and a Guinness!
Boris in fine form launching UK-Aus free trade talks!
The Aus ambassador to the UK insists that a deal will be finalized within months rather than years.