Friends Of Australia Friday Spuds & Lamb w/ Lindeman’s Chardonnay

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

Tonight we had the lamb / spuds dish I’ve described before. I changed a few things this time and I think it was an improvement.

Into a large cast iron skillet (a 12 incher I think, a 10 [or 25 cm] will be too small. Put one medium onion, chopped. (What size is a “medium” onion, anyway? I don’t seem them in bins at the grocer with “Small, medium, large” labels…) and about an equal volume of chopped mushrooms. I like chunky stuff, so my bits were about 1 x 3 cm. With about 2 tbs of butter and a good swizzle of olive oil in the pan, sautee until about 3/4 done.

Then break up a pound (500 gm) of Lamb mince (burger) into walnut sized bits (really anything from 2 cm to a couple of inches) and deposit them in the pan. Continue to saute / simmer on medium until the lamb is cooked through and the onions / mushrooms are browned a little.

At that point, I used 2 boxes of Betty Crocker Au Gratin potato stuff. (It makes a LOT so you could use one box, 1/2 pound of lamb, and 1/2 onion, I suppose, but the leftovers are really nice ;-)

For these, you put 2 cups (per box) of hot water in a pot or bowl ( I used a 1 qt. Pyrex measuring cup) and dump in the sauce powder packet. I did NOT add the 2 Tbs butter it calls for on the box, figuring it, and lamb fat, were already in the pan. I used Goat Milk which no doubt gives it a more authentic all wool bearers flavor ;-) but you add 1/2 cup of milk, and mix / whisk it all together. I then dump in the dried potato bits (breaking off and removing any black spots) and then that gets a stir.

Now the only tricky bit is cold water on hot cast iron causes it to break. Make sure the mix is hot. SLOWLY start drizzling it into and over bits of the stuff in the pan. It will sizzle a bit but it also brings the pan temperature down from frying / browning to simmer / boil fairly easily. Do this again for the 2nd box.

At this point I do a sprinkle of salt and pepper (as you like it) then the whole thing gets a stir and when back at the simmer goes into a 350 F oven for 25 minutes. Then it comes out of the oven and sits on the stove cooling a bit while you make the salad, vegetables, whatever.

It’s very nice. Spuds slices and lamb crumbles in a mushroom cheesy gravy. Yum!

Tonight’s wine is Lindeman’s Chardonnay. I was astounded to find this for $3 / bottle at Trader Joes. IF you are a chardonnay snob you will likely find it a bit weak and not “crispy tart” enough. As most high end fru fru Chardonnay makes my salivary glands hurt and my eyes get big from way too much “tart” and “crisp” and not enough “I want to drink this”, I find this wine a gem. Yes, it has very nice chardonnay flavor and character, but you are not driven to tears with each sip nor does your mouth feel like you sucked on a stick of alum. It is a very drinkable and pleasant chardonnay. This one says “Bin 69” (whatever that means…) and has 2019 on the label.

From South Eastern Australia. Yellow / gold screw cap and pictures of what look like golden marigolds on the lable. I’d read what it says on the back about “notes” and “spice” or whatever… but seeing it was so cheap (then again, it must compete with “2 Buck Chuck” at Trader Joe’s..) I bought 2 bottles yesterday. Unfortunately, now only about 2 glasses remain (one bottle meeting an end yesterday…) and I can’t read the mice type on the back of the bottle save I turn up the lights and find reading glasses…

But let’s just say “I’m buying more”. Even if white with lamb is Deplorable ;-)

I’ve ignored the “other news” for the last few days. Pretty much The World is on hold until we find out who is in the White House.

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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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7 Responses to Friends Of Australia Friday Spuds & Lamb w/ Lindeman’s Chardonnay

  1. Nancy & John Hultquist says:

    Medium size onion ?

    Seems the average grocery store bulk (or single) onion is about, maybe a bit smaller, than a baseball. Smaller ones, say 3 pounds to a bag or 10 onions, are also common.
    Larger ones, say 1, 2, or 3, pounds are seen at farmer’s markets; or grow your own.
    Recently learned that quercetin is found in red onions and Zinc in beef. Perhaps not in great quantities, but I grew many pounds of red onions this summer, and we live in cattle country. Still buy the beef at the grocery, however.

  2. billinoz says:

    Lindeman’s is an old wine industry family company. I know their Bin 69 Chardonnay well. It’s a lovely drop. And to get it at $3.00 a bottle on special is a real gift. I advice buying a few more for future at that price. Even here we can’t get it at that price. :-(

  3. Graeme No.3 says:

    Dr. Lindemann founded the wine company because he thought drinking wine was better for health; possibly true when favourite drinks included over proof rum and beer with raspberry syrup (the syrup disguised the off flavour of the sour beer. Another result was Foster’s Lager which avoided being partly vinegar).
    It was taken over many years ago but the name (and some brands survive). Bin 69 is quite popular as a Brand name for various other drops as well. The local price (Aust) is at least 40% higher reflecting the exorbitant Australian Govt. tax.

  4. EM you seem to have forgotten your conversion from imperial to metric. 1 inch = 25.4 mm or 2,54 cm (although you should not use cm in the SI system use mm, m, km) ie 10 inch is 250mm. Also 1 ft is rounded 305mm, 3 ft or a yard is 0.915m , 8ft (normal ceiling height is 2.44m -here in OZ timber lengths are 2.4 m). Another easy thing to remember in the SI system is 101.3 kPa is one atmosphere which in imperial system is 14.7 psi. Gravity is 9.81 m/s^2 (imperial 32.2 ft/s^2) so 10m of water give a pressure of 98.1 kPa or nearly 1 atmosphere. The SI system is much easier for calculation and will result in less mistakes (only need to remember where to put the decimal point). I recall many years ago I was making some flow measurements with some new (female) (engineering) graduates. They plugged the measurements in a computer program which came with the instruments. I immediately saw the results were wrong but they said “how can the computer be wrong” I said that the program came from USA and was in imperial units and needed a Gc factor and that it was easier to put the SI measurements in the basic equation which you should have learnt at university.

  5. Nancy & John Hultquist says:

    Here’s the rub about conversion from imperial to metric.
    The USA wine and booze industry switched to metric on October 1, 1976 – – with a 3 year conversion, allowing for sale of existing product and retooling of equipment.
    Thus, the standard wine bottle has been 750 ml for over 40 years.
    We have been under-served 0.2 ounces of wine in every bottle since then.

  6. E.M.Smith says:


    I didn’t forget. “2.54 cm / inch” is firmly in the brain.

    What was foggy was applying the math to a 10 inch skillet ( I did it backwards… via a shortcut of 4 inches to the 10 cm and turned 10 INCHES into way too many cm). But as I stated above “Wine was involved” ;-)

    My Bad for trying to do shortcut math with most of a bottle on board. I’ll fix it later (after enough coffee to assure I’m doing it right this time… Gee, do I oscillate between too much wine and too much coffee? Something to ponder…)

    As for following anyone’s “system” and they demanding just which units I use:
    I use whatever units I like whenever I like. I “am somebody” and can decide for myself what units I like. (Hey, you have a mixed Irish, English, German, bit-o-French AMERICAN mutt here… and you expect that lot to take direction for ANYONE? ;-)

    I’m also quite happy to freely mix units and types. (Though when wine is involved perhaps a bit more care is needed in the mixing … )

    In high school we did our chemistry in both Imperial and Metric as, at the time, the USA was slowly converting most science to metric. So I’m quite comfortable doing energy calculations in F, C, K and R. (Yes, we used Rankine for absolute temperature calcs along with K. I’m rather fond of R. Better precision.)

    One similarly minded college chum, eventually to get a Ph.D. Physics, was bored in intro physics class, so on the exam, calculated the solution to one problem in “Furlongs per fortnight” then at the end converted it to metric for the T.A. comfort (Teaching Assistant).

    Per “easier calculations”:

    That’s entirely dependent on what method of calculation you use. Base 10 is useful for calculators and other mechanical means and for things like multiplication by simple digits. Traditional / Imperial is designed to work well with fractions / division. (IIRC even Newton complained about that point, that metric screwed up fractional math making it harder).

    Again, in my chemistry class in high school, we learned to use a slide rule, but also spent many hours getting it drummed into our heads how to do fast fractional math by cancelling out common factors. That works much better if you have a LOT of common factors to find. So base 60 works tremendously well, and using things like dozens and 36 (inches) also makes it easier. Divide a foot into 3 EXACTLY equal parts, 4 inches in them. Divide a meter into 3 EXACTLY equal parts… um… 0.333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333…

    The notion that the ancients had a screwed up measuring system and didn’t know Pi very accurately was entirely wrong. They used different fractional representations of Pi so that they could choose their precision (to match the data) and then do lots of loverly cancellations of fraction factors. 22/7 x 1/2 visually turns into 11/7 without much thought at all. 3.1415926 x 0.5 takes a bit longer to do by hand… and if you go for 3.141592653 / 2 it isn’t any better.

    Similarly, they used a non-standard foot for navigation to simplify a whole lot of math. IF you had a gauged foot that was adjusted for your latitude, your distance calcs didn’t have to adjust for changed circle length with latitude E/W. (You see this same thing still in use with casting where the “casting inch” rulers are adjusted for the expected shrinkage. Want a 10 inch part? Just measure with a “casting inch” ruler when making the mould and the shrinkage math is built in…)

    It is really a clever system. Have one guy “do the math” and build it into the relevant tooling, so you need not do constant math adjustments.

    So, in summary: Never attribute to ignorance that which is adequately explained by wine… ;-)

  7. Another Ian says:

    Don’t forget that other standard – there are 39.38 inches in a metre

    And a km is 5/8 0f mile

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