Friends Of Australia Friday Lamb Scalloped Potatoes & Red Blend

It’s once again an Australia Time Friday! It’s FRIDAY!!!!

Tonight I’ll be trying a dish based on one from a “Camping With Steve” video by Steve wallis. About 6 minutes in:

I’m substituting Australian Lamb for the ground beef and either Au Gratin or Scalloped boxed potatoes (which ever is in the cabinet… I can’t tell the difference, really…) The video is from about 8 years ago. He since passed his exam, worked a while, and now has his own Heating Repair Business. I like watching his videos as it’s a virtual camping trip, he’s got a sense of humour, and he has some interesting methods and meals.

He has some way fun “Stealth Camping” videos where he camps in “forbidden” or unlikely places. He also has a style that reminds me of my own: Why use flint and bark when you have a blowtorch? ;-)

I’ll report later on how the dish worked out.

The wine tonight is “Fox In The Henhouse” red blend 2014 . $6 at the Bargain Market. 14.9% alcohol so some strong stuff in there. Colour is an inky ruby red. Smooth in the mouth. Flavours that do remind a bit of cherry with some burgundy like overtones in the first sip, but those now muted at the 1/2 glass point. A VERY drinkable red (then again, it’s a 6 years old bottle… so ought to be smooth) Not a lot of nose to it. Then again, yesterday was spent cutting up piles of tree limb, yucca tree branches, and a pile of limbs from the California Bay Laurel I took out (to make them small enough for recycle / pickup.) That filled my snoot with various dusts and all and I’ve been blowing and sneezing quite a bit last night and this morning. I may have upset my nose ;-) So if there’s a delicate nose to the wine, my industrial nose likely just missed it ;-)

All in all, I like this wine. Easy drinker and good flavours. Will stand up to the typical marinara, but maybe not fire breathing chilli. With cheese and crackers (to be tested shortly ;-) ought to be quite nice. My impression of it is that there’s Shiraz in there somewhere, but with some Merlot or similar diluting the Shiraz flavours. Then something to give a bit of Burgundy note, but not much. Just a hint.

With that, I’m off to dinner prep duties and will report back after the fact.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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12 Responses to Friends Of Australia Friday Lamb Scalloped Potatoes & Red Blend

  1. Graeme No.3 says:

    From what I can find out that 2014 red is a blend of shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, possibly from the Barossa valley.
    I’ve never heard of the brand before but they seem to be either blenders of bought in wines or buyers of left over stock. Neither would rule out their wines being good.
    The local price is US $10.6 but then the government taxes/charges etc. push the selling price up by over 40% here, which they would avoid by exporting.

  2. billinoz says:

    @Graeme #3: I’m really enjoying the 2016 McLaren Vale Malbec that you dropped off last week Graeme. The “Rudderless Vineyard: from Sellicks Hill, It’s as good to drink as any Argentine Malbec I’ve tried. Thanks again…

  3. billinoz says:

    A brief Covid 19 Update for USA folks : In the state of Victoria the pandemic reached a new high yesterday with 732 new infections found and 13 people dead from Covid. The population of the entire state are now required to wear a mask when out of their homes.

    The other states & territories, NSW, SA, Tasmania , Qld, WA, ACT & NT have now effectively banned all travellers from Victoria from entering. Why ? To preserve their own Covid free status or far less Covid status.

    And of course we have had the odd rogue individuals who despite the risk of transmitting infection still have breached these border restrictions. A particularly aggregious example has just emerged of 2-3 young women from Brisbane who travelled via Sydney to Melbourne. In Melbourne they hosted a big party at their flat rental. That was broken up by the police with fines for many attending for breaching the Covid rules. While in Melbourne it seems that they also stole expensive hand bags from high end stores. They then travelled back to Sydney and picked up a few more expensive hand bags. And after 2 days flew on to Brisbane having become infected with Covid.
    In order to avoid 14 days quarantine they lied on Qld their re-entry forms and proceeded to work and play in various suburbs of Brisbane for 6-7 days before getting tested and then being arrested.

    They now face 5 years in jail for various offences. And being migrants from Sierra Leone in Africa, the prospect of having their permanent resident visas canceled and deported back to Sierra Leone at the end of their jail time.

    PS : Apparently the whole hand bag trip to Melbourne was for a Brisbane based African crime gang…Ummmm !

    My own view on all this : ALL LIVES MATTER. And if you do the crime you should do the time.

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, that was remarkably good!
    Wine went really well with it too!

    Squash with butter side.

    Main course:

    Sautee a chopped medium onion in olive oil. When clear / browning edges, add 1 pound (500 gm) minced lamb in walnut sized bits. Cook until red is gone. At about 1/2 way, sprinkle with garlic. I used dehydrated granules but a couple of minced cloves would be great too.

    When cooked through, by package directions on the Betty Crocker Scalloped Potatoes box: add 2 cups water, 2/3 cups milk, and 1 Tbs butter. Sprinkle in the sauce package and mix. Add the dehydrated potatoes, stir. Bring to the boil. Then I set the cast iron skillet in the oven for 20 ish minutes at 425 F. Salt and pepper to taste. (I did both, spouse did neither…)

    I could have just left it simmering on the stove, but had squash going in the over already…

    This is going to be a “regular” for us, now. Probably every 2nd week or so.

  5. H.R. says:

    E.M. wrote: “That filled my snoot with various dusts and all and I’ve been blowing and sneezing quite a bit last night and this morning.”

    I’m feelin’ for ya, brother. I’m finishing up the CBG (cigar box guitar) and kicking up a lot of very, very fine sawdust. I’m well past 200 grit , touching up places with 400 grit, and will be into the depths of 1000 and 1200 grit tomorrow, Two coats of polyurethane down, and one more to go, and I can already use it for a shaving mirror after only two coats.

    My nose is running faster than a Ferrari and every sneeze is loaded with colorful (mahogany and oak) sanding dust… and I’m wearing a dust mask! No way am I stopping viruses if the #@!%! thing won’t keep out 400 grit dust.

    Look on the bright side, E.M. At least the sawdust you’re sucking in is coarse enough that you can hack up a toothpick now and then and maybe cough up enough to barbeque a little lamb ;o)

  6. H.R. says:

    Oh, oh! – My Friends of Australia dinner was a massive BLT using the first dead ripe tomato from the garden. I picked it, the tomato, on the nose, so to speak. Not a day too early or late. (Not to mention the 8 slices of bacon I used to overstuff the sandwich. The bit of iceberg lettuce was merely an observer.)

    Paired it with beer. Common ol’ garden variety beer, a 24-ouncer, Memorable only for the thunderous burp that lingered on the palate. Startled the dogs and the cat. Had to coax them out from under the sofa. They’re OK now. Lucky they didn’t piddle….. I think………. I should go check ;o)

  7. E.M.Smith says:


    So that was you, Eh? And here I thought it was distant thunder….


  8. Nancy & John Hultquist says:

    Regarding personal protection equipment (PPE):
    I never thought about such things until working on trails with tools that make sharp rock chips, dust, and noise, especially double jacks on rebar. I started wearing ear protection while mowing. I’ve watched many folks doing things that ought to require masks and ear protection. Those sawing tile and rock ought to be wearing, but I watched a person coughing and swearing while a cloud of rock dust enveloped his head.
    I think general public masks for the virus are a minor help. Good reminder to stay apart — physical distance, not social. For us older folks physical distancing is easy. Actual social distancing for most elderly is not a good thing. The WSJ has an editorial today (7/31) regarding “The Lockdown’s Destruction.”

  9. philjourdan says:

    Got some Eggplant Parmigiana tonight for dinner. While waiting to get my order, I noticed a map which showed the wines of Italy! So I took a picture. Alas it will not post in the post. Too bad, I am going to see how many I like. Because I am bored as well (I am not going to try them all at once! – but over the next year – I think there were about 50).

    And I still miss lamb! Hoping Outback brings it back soon! I am running out of patience on the Fettuccine!

  10. billinoz says:

    The Pandemic update : The state government has now declared a “State of Disaster” in Victoria with a curfew from 8.00 pm till 5.00 am. All sectors of the economy in Melbourne to be closed down except essential industries like supermarkets, food stores, pharmacies etc. Public transport to operate on a reduced level at all times.

    The Victorian government is aiming at a suppression strategy now as otherwise there will be outbreaks and continuing erratic shut downs.Attempting to emulate New Zealand which has eliminated the virus.

    Some persons from Melbourne & Victoria are still attempting to enter other states across the state borders. Pandemic refugees ? As a result the disease has emerged with local transmission in NSW around Sydney and to a limited extent in Qld. When caught they are being arrested, detained in quarantine and fined substantially. And catching is reasonably easy as such folks mostly have Vic. registered vehicles.

  11. E.M.Smith says:


    It is easy to cook lamb. The ~1 inch thick T-bone like chops, on a pie tin or baking dish or cast iron pan. In the oven at about 350 F for 30 to 40 minutes depending on how done you like. Or about 10 to 12 min on broil :-)

    Leg o lamb: in a pot in the oven. 350 F to 375 F about 15 min/pound rare, 20 min/lb for more cooked through. covered for soft finish, uncovered for crusty (which I really like with garlic pepper on it…) Start with the more rare end, then if too rare, just chuck back in a while and make a note what you like is longer.

    Pan fried shoulder chops: frying pan on medium heat to medium high. Thin olive oil in the bottom. Lay in yhe chops. Turn after about e to 4 minutes. Take out after the next 3 to 4. When first doing it, cuf in to one to see if done to your liking. If it stsrts to sizxle too much and smell burnt during cooking, use a lower burner setting. If not browned enough at the turn, use a higher one. (Every cook has to find the right setting for an unfamiliar stovr, though it is easier with gas as flame size is consistent).

    No need to wait for Outbsck :-)

  12. philjourdan says:

    When we were dating, I cooked my wife a dinner one night. SHe banned me from the kitchen! On top of that, she hates lamb! She even claims it ruins the taste of other meat in the freezer!

    SO I think I am going to have to wait for Outback. :-)

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