Friends Of Australia Friday Lamb Burgers & Merlot

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

This posting will be a bit thin, as the lamb dish is a repeat. Lamb Cheeseburgers. Already described here:

Tater Tots and salad side.

The wine is a Mallee Point Merlot. About $13 for a 1.5 L bottle. 2018 vintage. IMHO a 2 year age is a bit light, even for a Merlot. The nose is light and fruity, the colour a deep inky red in the glass with hints of purple were the meniscus climbs the glass. Flavour is nice, typically Merlot, and with bits of fruit and spice vying for pole position. Tannin is not too high for drinking now but promises to become delightfully mellow with a couple of years on the shelf. (This bottle, and several more, alas, will not achieve that age ;-)

I have found that Lucky’s Supermarket is also carrying Australian Lamb. Very similar packaging as the Bargain Market brand, but a different name. “Spring Crossing”. Loin Chops (little T Bones) at $5.99 / lb while minced was $7, go figure… so I bought 2 packages of the loin chops and one of minced. Guess what we’re having the rest of the week ;-)

OK, as these postings are going to start being repetitive ( I’m running out of recipe variations and have gone through a good percentage of the local wine selection from Australia), I’ve got to ask if folks want more of them, or is it time to say “The Quad has formed, India is buying, America is on side, and both Australia and New Zealand have Friends In High Places” and just leave it at knowing I’m doing this every Australian Friday, posting or not?

So what say you?

In Other News

It looks like the Clown Of Victoria is just doing back flips to please China and screw over the rest of Australia. How’s that look to the folks Down Under? No doing nothing. No life. China gets lots of money and privileges for “Belt And Roads” And Debt. While Victoria tells the Federal Government to screw off? Hows that work? (Rather like Seattle & Portland vs Trump, I imagine… which has me wondering if China owns most of the Dimocrats beyond just owning Biden… who we know is bought and paid for.)

IMHO China has really put their foot in it, pissing off India and Australia and the USA and Taiwan and the Philippines and several others all at the same time. Now massing troops on the border of India while encouraging Pakistan to do the same. It looks like a “2 player pincer” being set up on the “top knot of India”. I’m pretty sure they will try to launch that, then after a short pause for everyone to fixate that way, try to retake Taiwan. Probably just about end September. Typhoon season ending and USA fixated on an election campaign.

While I’m not looking forward to an Asian based W.W. III, it looks like China wants to move. And Xi needs to do something to avoid a soft coup internally as his screwups come home to roost. Wag the dog and all that.

I’m fairly certain India can handle a 2 front war, especially with Australian meals and US satellites & fighter jets. I’m also pretty sure Taiwan can hold off a sea invasion (also with US satellites & fighters) especially with a couple of US Aircraft Carrier groups in the area. It is also worth noting that the Marines have a bunch of things not called aircraft carriers, but that have loads of Osprey aircraft, jump jets, and helicopters on them and where each one can land about 2000 Marines if needed. Folks tend to ignore these, at their peril.

Wasp Class Marine Ship

Wasp Class Marine Ship

These are what many Navies of the world would call an aircraft carrier…

So, any bets on what might happen, and when? I’m quite certain that anyone gets into a “dust up” with China, Trump will be quite happy to help. He’s presently trying to arrange for several other nations to do “Freedom Of Navigation” tours through the South China sea. Including Australia… maybe.

So it’s interesting times in South and Southeast Asia.

But with their farm land increasingly flooded, will China realize logistics matter and an army travels on it’s stomach? Or will they covet the land and grains of other lands? Decisions decisions…

Subscribe to feed


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...
This entry was posted in Food, News Related, Political Current Events and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Friends Of Australia Friday Lamb Burgers & Merlot

  1. Tregonsee says:

    A great example of showing a total lack of introspection is the Chinese lecturing anybody about being arrogant. They have that down pat. They also have a tendency to believe their own propaganda. Not always, but usually they get their head handed to them as a result. Fingers crossed that this will be one of those times.

  2. andysaurus says:

    Two things today, after thanking you yet again for your fraternal care. One is that you really should be using Australian or New Zealand Cheese as a topper for your burgers, if your tastes are anything like mine, then New Zealand Mainland brand Extra Tasty 18 month old cheddar is perfect. Mind you, I think my palette is a bit more robust than yours as I almost never drink Merlot and go for rough Shiraz by preference (Syrah in the States).
    The other is that I heard from a trusted source that there is a cultural belief in China that changes in regime are preceded by natural disaster. Maybe that could be put that natural disasters presage major political change. How about this list of natural disasters? Bamboo locust plague; thousand year floods; earthquakes; rotten grain stores; Asian swine flu; Wuhan Virus. Xi must be soiling his britches.

  3. E.M.Smith says:


    We have both Petit Syrah and Shiraz. I think we just accept whatever anyone wants to say ;-)

    Yeah, the Omens are not good for Xi. Part of why I’m thinking “Wag the Dog” is on the cards.

    We don’t have much (any?) Australian or New Zealand cheeses. At least I’ve not found any. Sad, that, as when I was “Down Under” the butter was exceptional and the cheeses certainly better due to the exceptional butterfat in their making. Don’t know if it is the cow varieties or the feed or the local climate, but they are special. Sigh. Fond memories of Unobtaniedder…


    China has a very large land army. It also has a few nukes. After that, it is full of bluster and poor copies of western gear. Then it has extremely long supply chains over bad terrain to India, and over waters dominated by others to Taiwan. Not a good combination.

    In about 4 days the USA and India would attain air superiority. After that, the world consists of fighters, bombers, and targets…

    Painful? Something to be avoided if at all possible? Certainly. Surprises from China (and perhaps Russia as a pot stir, or maybe as ally…) certainly. But also from the USA and India. Maybe Australia too if they choose to join the event.

    Like Antifa, BLM, & The Dims: The Left regularly assumes timidity or compliance from silence or lack of response. They simply do not understand the concepts of “Brittle Failure” or that silence can mean you are working out your logistical chain, allies, and stocking up.

    I’m prepared to defend about a 1 block radius (assuming some neighbors join in when SHTF but need supplies) and I know of at least 2 others like me on my block. Nobody “on the left” knows that. This is in the heart of uber lefty Silly Con Valley. Now imagine what it’s like in Idaho…

    IMHO, something similar plays out on the national level. China has little clue how much firepower has been forward deployed, how much political capital they have burned, and how much The People of the globe have moved from interest / benign tolerance to “just give me a reason”…

  4. Nancy & John Hultquist says:

    Something to be avoided if at all possible!
    If they are already short on food they should stand down.
    Not too many nations can ship lots of food fast.
    Maybe that message should be sent.

    I don’t mind the “support OZ” postings, but as an uncle said about having steak every evening: “I’m not a sob for it, either.”

  5. Annie says:

    @andysaurus: I go along with your choice of cheese! That one (Mainland Extra Tasty) is our favourite for every day. We do like the Merlot style, also Cabernet Merlot. Shiraz sometimes but I find it tends to be peppery, which I dislike. My usual tipple at present, however, is pink gin, for medicinal purposes, dontcha’ know?!
    We are eyeing our, erstwhile, twin wethers for the freezer, as and when there is room as they are huge mutton now (we like mutton too) as we were still eating their predecessors until recently. The trouble is, we don’t have much room left in the lamb freezer as I have been filling it with home preserved fruit in various forms; apples, blackberries , pears and quinces. We are some way from the sea so also keep packs of Aldi frozen fish to hand (salmon, cod, barramundi and basa). In the meantime the two boys are growing fat mowing and manuring one of our small paddocks, along with two ancient ewes (their previous owner can’t believe they are still alive!) and two young ewes, daughters of the ancients.

  6. H.R. says:

    @E.M. re continuing these posts.

    The time you put in on a Friends of Australia post is paid back by the conversation it jumpstarts. Others have tossed in what they are having or had for dinner. There are some wines suggested by others that at least give people all over a little Easter Egg to hunt for and just maybe find.

    Some of the dinner suggestions that pop up in comments are tucked away, at least by me, to be tried at a later date. Think of the conversation that shepherd’s pie started, eh? That was a good one.

    So who cares if it’s “Lamb loin chops…. again? So far, all of the resulting comment threads have headed of in interesting directions. Not everyone is having lamb chops and they don’t mind saying what they are having. (I whipped up some chicken quesadillas tonight, accompanied by a vintage Canada Dry ginger ale.)

    My 2¢.

  7. E.M.Smith says:


    Lamb Jerkey? Just sayin’… ;-)

    FWIW, I’ve canned meats. If you can do canning, you can make as much stored meat as you can buy jars. I canned up a lot of chicken at 79 ¢ / pound and now it’s at $1.80 so we’re using the jars (freezer just ran empty today…). It really isn’t hard.

    OTOH, jerkey is really really good and easy to make if you have an oven with low temperature setting or can spare $50 for a food dryer.

    Of course, just letting it continue to mow the lawn and increase in size is also an option ;-)

    Sidebar on Mutton:

    I’ve never understood why folks think mutton inferior to lamb. Flavour is stronger (and IMHO better!) and it’s just a dandy meal. Maybe it is folks who want lamb to taste like beef and just don’t “get it”…


    Looking just above at my comment about Lamb Jerky I take your point. I’ve never seen it. Never had it. But I’m eyeing my food drier and thinking about giving it a go…

    What does the web say?….

    Lamb Jerky — How to Make Your Own Lamb Jerky
    [Search domain
    This lamb jerky is seasoned with oregano, soy sauce, worcestershire, garlic and onion, a great alternative to beef and perfect for healthy snacking. This post is sponsored by The American Lamb Board to get you geared up for #summerlambventures where you could win $2,000 for an epic summer memory!

    How to Make A Mouth-Watering Lamb Jerky
    [Search domain]
    How to Make Lamb Jerky. I already covered the essentials jerky-making. Now, let us get down to our lamb jerky. Once again, the recipe that I am going to introduce to you is the basic one. I could teach you some other plausible recipes. But for the meantime, let us stick to the most simple one.

    so looks like it’s a thing… Well, OK, posts to continue for a while (hoisted on my own comment ;-) and looks like Lamb Jerky is a place to explore “some day”…

  8. p.g.sharrow says:

    I am told by Cork Dorks that Australian Shiraz and American Syrah are different wines as well as derived from completely different grape varieties. and Petite Sirah is a different varietial grape as well. I have both Syrah and Petite Sirah in my vineyard. Petite Sirah is generally grown to add color to a wine as it is a poor producer but is deeply colored an flavored.

  9. p.g.sharrow says:

    Today I started to “convert” last years wine into brandy (140pf ) base to be added to Blackberry Juice and honey to make PGs Blackberry Brandy! 8-) For medicinal use only of course. I seem to have a lot of sick friends.

  10. andysaurus says:

    @Annie. I am on a keto diet so I don’t have a problem with fruit in the freezer. I have a fair amount of pork and beef in there – none home grown unfortunately, those days are long past.
    I have stocked up on SPAM and Corned beef from ALDI, also tinned fish (Sild in vegetable oil and Trout in truffle oil). Fortunately I have a very high threshold of boredom when it comes to food.
    G&T good idea to keep up the quinine.

  11. Graeme No.3 says:

    In Australia shiraz is the name for what the French call syrah (from the Rhone valley); Syrah is occasionally used, usually to allow a boost in the price.
    Petit Syrah (in Australia) means Durif which is the name usually used. Makes a big tannic wine along the river Murray where the temperatures are hot (in summer). The old style Durifs woud break your teeth if drunk less than 5 years old, but the alcohol level 16-19% would have be an anaethesic. I once had (in company) a 19 year old and there was much discussion as to whether it was a shiraz or a cabernet sauvignon.
    Durif is actually the result of a cross from shiraz (& peloursin). I understand that Petit syrah grown in California is a mixture of different types in the older vineyards (pelousin, (minor amounts) Barbara, and crosses) .

  12. Annie says:

    @andysaurus: I haven’t seen any sild in Aldi for quite a while, a pity as I really like it. We do keep some other tinned fish from Aldi and corned beef, also various beans.
    @E. M. Smith: I have never made jerky or preserved meats. I think it is partly because I worry I might get it wrong and poison us! The links sound interesting though; will have a sqizz. Thankyou.

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    Canning meat and fish is pretty direct. Use small jars (cup or pint at most). Process it a long time (like 90 minutes). You will know if the seal fails. (Tap the top. Click click is good, thunk thunk is failed). If the lid bulges up after storage or the stuff smells rotten, don’t eat it. BTW, I’ve never had that happen.

    Note that canned chicken does get a slight sulfer like smell on opening from breakdown of some compounds. That isn’t failed, just birds. It rapidly dissapates when the jar is opened.

    Jerky and dry meats are trivial to make. Just keep the bugs off. Too dry it becomes brittal and hard, but is still good to eat. Too wet is easy to spot as it isn’t quite jerky yet. You can still eat it if fresh, but refrigerate it or dry it more. Too wet and left out will eventually grow mold or bacteria but that’s pretty obvious. Oh, and you want to remove the fat as it doesn’t dry well.

    Folks have been drying meat and fish in open air or over fires in primitive conditions for thousands of years. If they can do it, so can you.

    Start with a lean bit of meat. Cut it in thin strips. Put on a cookie sheet in the oven on the lowest setting. Wait until dry. (Stiff but bends some without brittle breaking) That’s it, basically. The rest is adding flavors and storage enhancers like salts, peppers, and spices.

    One video I watched on making Virginia hams had the wrapping smeared with a layer of pepper to keep flies off it. This isn’t rocket science…

    Here’s a simple oven beef jerky video. Just slice, marinade for flavor, then oven dry.

  14. u.k.(us) says:

    Not saying it would be easy, but just cut off the head of the snake.
    No more worries of things slithering around in the night.

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    @UK (US):

    You talking snake jerky, or CCP? Or both… ;-)

  16. billinoz says:

    EM, You have started soemthing with these Friday Aussie posts. I think they are worth keeping on with. But then I’m biased being Aussie. :-)

    By the way the comment by Andy about cheese is completely on the ball. There are lots of real cheeses with flavour made in Australia & New Zealand. By contrast the cheese I tasted when lived in the USA ( back a while now ) were all bland.

    Your comment about Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria, seems ‘unnecessary’ to me. Having presided over the creation of the second wave of the pandemic in Victoria during May, June & July, his fate is sealed what the result of the Stage 4 Lockdown now happening in Melbourne and the Stage 3 Lockdown in Regional Victoria. In USA terms, politically a ‘dead man walking’ – even though there are no state elections until 2022.

    One hopes that the opposition Liberal & National party coalition lead by O’Brian can manage to appear unified and competent in the 19 months until those elections. Tho’ that did not happen in the past in 2018.

    @Graeme : I’m sold on the 2012 McLaren Vale Malbec you gifted me a week or so ago. I will be looking for more. Though I note that the label says on the bottle they only have 400 vines of Malbec there. Ummm ?

  17. billinoz says:

    Just noticed a typo in my comment above : I meant to say Daniel Andrews ‘fate is sealed whatever the result of the Stage 4 Lockdown now happening in Melbourne”

  18. Graeme No.3 says:

    In today’s Weekend magazine there is a possible idea for you. The author suggests stabbing a leg of lamb with a knife and inserting slices of garlic into the slits. Rub joint with olive oil and season with salt crystals and black pepper. Roast meat with a generous glass of white wine in the tray for basting (using a sprig of rosemary). While leg is resting remove excess fat from tray, and add 5 anchovy fillet (crush to a paste) and 175mls. chicken stock. Reduce slightly then add (off the flame) the zest of one lemon, one tablespoon of chopped parsley and any juices from the meat – and you have your gravy.
    A bit precious and wanders a bit.
    He adds the rider that anchovy is the main ingredient in Worcestershire sauce.

  19. Steven Fraser says:

    @E.M: I found a local store, about 1 mile away, that carries Aussie Lamb. I’ll have to venture out to get some. I think I will start with chops, perhaps butterflied, depdending on thickness ;-)

  20. H.R. says:

    @Graeme No.3 – Anchovies, eh?

    That flavor profile of the gravy is one I’d not run across before, but I can see how it would work.

    And now I have to go read the ingredient list on my bottle of Worcestershire sauce. I’d never really bothered to look before because I grew up with Worcestershire sauce being used like it was a single ingredient all by itself; like it has its own Atomic Number on the Table of Cooking Elements, so to speak ;o)

  21. u.k.(us) says:

    When you’ve been carrying around an RPG for so long that the paint is flaking off, it is kind of hard to ….assume they have the funds for reloading ??
    Just one of my pet peeves.

  22. H.R. says:

    RPG? Rocket Propelled Grenade?!?

    I’m having trouble making the connection to lamb, but I do know that if you ever visit my house, I’ll be making you empty your pockets if I suspect you have an RPG ;o)

  23. Graeme No.3 says:

    EMS Found an old bit from Bill in Oz. Might be of interest.
    My lamb stew is ready on the stove now !
    Rough cut pieces of lamb steak FRIED in olive oil, garlic, onions, (I assume these go in together)
    carrots, spuds, Pumpkin (winter squash), peas, celery, red Russian kale, parsley, Bok choi, red chard, tomatoes and red capsicums..(Bill is a keen home farmer)
    And soy sauce and vegetable seasoning added. With some red wine and black pepper.
    It’s a bitter cold wet windy day here in the Adelaide Hills (and again this year)
    So a couple of bowls of good tucker with some toasted rye bread
    And a glass of good Malbec red !
    Ummmmmm !
    life is good !

    (that in brackets is my additions)

  24. Timster says:

    @EMS …. Sounds to me like you need a few new recipes to try…. So, to that end, here’s a slow cooked lamb shoulder recipe that while not specifically an Aussie dish, did come from an Aussie “foodie” magazine (I have plenty more if you want!)

    1.5kg lamb shoulder (bone-in)
    1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
    1 tbs zaatar (Middle Eastern spice mix), plus extra to serve
    2/3 cup (165ml) vegetable stock (substitute water)
    3 Lebanese cucumbers, chopped
    2 baby cucumbers (cukes – optional, substitute extra Lebanese cucumber), halved
    Juice of 1/2 a lemon
    Mint leaves, to serve

    80g tahini
    160g Greek yoghurt
    1 tbs lemon juice

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Rub lamb with 11/2 tbs oil and 2 tsp salt flakes, transfer to a baking dish and roast for 40 minutes or until light golden. Sprinkle with zaatar, add stock and cover with foil. Reduce oven to 120°C and roast lamb for 5 hours or until very tender.

    2. For the tahini yoghurt, mix tahini, yoghurt and lemon juice in a bowl until combined. Cover and chill until needed.

    3. To make the cucumber salad, toss cucumbers, lemon juice and remaining 11/2 tbs oil in a bowl until combined.

    4. Transfer lamb to a platter and scatter with mint leaves and extra zaatar. Serve with cucumber salad and tahini yoghurt. … and anything else that takes your fancy

  25. billinoz says:

    @Graeme, thanks for that reminder…of lamb stew Aussie style… I’ve been trying out Greek themed menus recently -especially a dish called “Spetzafai” which has good olive oil & tumeric fried sausages, with added fried onions, tomatoes, parsley & lots of red capsicums, I add green beans for the colour !
    But the lamb stew will be a nice break from the greek for a while.

    PS Trying out your Trumpeter malbec now from Argentina 2012. It’s a nice red wine ! Thanks for that also >

  26. billinoz says:

    Its been cold here in Oz recently. And so there has emerged this video of kangaroos fighting in the midst of a snow storm. Weird thing is it has not been on the main media here. No guns ! Enjoy ! Courtesy of Electroverse. :

Comments are closed.