Friends Of Australia Friday Lamburger & Lil’Penguin Pinot Grigio

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

BUT, this time, again, I’m posting this on California Friday… What can I say? The Little Penguin Pinot Grigio just kept showing up in my glass…

The main course was a 1/2 pound ground (minced) Australian lamb as a burger steak, with a sprinkle of Mexican Cheese Blend cheese melted on top.

Side was just Bag-o-Salad (American made of iceberg lettuce, with bits of shredded red cabbage, carrots, and slices of radish), and my regular dressing was home made “Italian”. A fairly traditional 1/4 vinegar 3/4 olive oil, plus salt, pepper, and Italian spices mix in a canning jar. Add a squirt of mustard to help it mix, put the lid on and shake vigorously, then let it sit 1/2 hour, shake again.

Also on the side was a dish of English Peas, and a slice of home made French Bread well buttered with real butter. Made as a round instead of a baguette as my shaping skill is still a bit primitive and the rounds work better for sandwiches anyway ;-)

I’ve gotten pretty good at the French Bread (now that I’ve let go of the notion of using anything other than the classic mix of bread flour, yeast, water and a touch of salt). This time I put a round ‘cake pan’ with about 1/3 inch of hot water directly under the pan that had the dough in it, with the two racks one layer apart. About 4 inches. VERY crusty crust! At this time, the only bit that needs more polish is shaping a straight and proper baguette. Mine tend to have little irregularities in them. Wobbles or kinks or variable width. My rounds are perfect though ;-)

Yesterday morning I had some lamb gravy over bread bits. One of my favorite snacks. Making gravy is VERY easy once you realize it is best done with pan dripping from the LAST meal, not this one. Why? Mixing flower into HOT grease will start to cook it. Making lumps. You need the pan cool to do it right. So “yesterdays pan” (I like cast iron) will make great morning gravy.

Warm it just to the point where the fat is liquid. Then add flour, a spoon or two at a time, gently mixed with the spatula, until it forms a roux. A nice paste. Then all you need to do is add milk (or half milk / half water) a little at a time with mixing as you keep it warm (about 140 F or a little more, but below cooking temperature). Slowly adding the water based liquid lets you mix it into the roux as a colloidal suspension. If you dump it all at once, the roux wants to break up into lumps… and not mix well. As you get enough mixed in for it to be nicely liquid, turn the heat up to a simmer / low boil. The flour will start to cook and thicken. Add more liquid as needed to keep it a nice flowing thickness.

Keep stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan with the spatula (so you don’t get a thick layer stuck to it) but be gentle. Don’t want to overmix and make tough gravy – yeah, it’s a thing, but hard to do really. At this point, take a shaker of salt over the top of it, and add grinds of pepper to your preference. Stir that in, and let it gently bubble a few minutes. Just a few bubbles reaching the surface and stir every so often. That’s it.

IF you make a mistake and get some lumps, taking a whisk to it can usually fix that. I’ve mostly just used the spatula to squash any lump I find, pressing it on the bottom of the pan, then mix it in with a sideways sliding stir…

If your gravy doesn’t have enough flavor, then there weren’t enough bits of ‘whatever’ stuck to the pan. Be less diligent about getting it all out next time, ok? ;-) I mostly only have this problem with chicken gravy when I’ve cooked it in a light oil (plant seed oil doesn’t have the necessary flavors for good gravy, really…). Then I’ll crumble up a bouillon cube into the gravy to boost the flavor. I’ve not needed to do anything like that with the lamb pan.

Left over gravy can be put in a tub in the refrigerator and reheated as desired. If it gets too thick, you can add a bit more water to thin it, but again, I’ve rarely needed to do that. Like never in the last decade or three…

So now I’ve got a nice tub of Australian Lamb Gravy for use on tomorrows baked or mashed potatoes.

I’m making a new loaf of bread this morning as last night’s loaf was gone last night…

Wine was again the Little Penguin Pinot Grigio from the discount store. I got the last two bottles, so now I’ll need to find other wines again.

In Other News:

I’ve not kept up on Australian news this week. Too focused on the Tension In D.C. Then there were a BUNCH of European governments had a turnover of players. A lot for me to catch up on. If anyone has clue, please apply clue stick in comments.

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

10 Responses to Friends Of Australia Friday Lamburger & Lil’Penguin Pinot Grigio

  1. Terry Jackson says:

    Thomas Lifson on Google. Uppity Australia seems to think they can pass laws without seeking permission.

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    @Terry Jackson:

    Oh My! Basically: “IF you won’t let me hoover up information on all your citizens and do with it what I like, I’m going to stop doing it!!!” Like that’s a real threat?

    It would be immensely beneficial to Australians to have them move, wholesale, to DuckDuckGo ….

    It’s really just the old “You can’t fire me, I quit!”… Still gone and still the owner is happy. Happier even, as quitting means less hit to the unemployment insurance stats, and no worries about unions or other ‘wrongful termination’ stuff. I LOVE it when someone does that… (as a manager…)

  3. Julian Jones says:

    C’mon enough of this Aussie pandering; their Chinese problem is mild and very recent … what about us Welsh ? We’ve been put upon by the Evil English for centuries; besides our lamb is the best. Surely an occasional Friends Of Wales Friday .. or a Rarebit Monday, perhaps ?

    On a serious note; a few teaspoons of redcurrent jelly in any gravy takes it to another level (a Swedish trick, apparently).

  4. another ian says:


    An Australian relaying of some reading for your “Seriosio ponder” from Pointman posted at the bottom of that thread. Via Jo Nova too.

  5. another ian says:

    And another ponder

    “The end of prime time TV”

    How long till the emperor is seen to be starkers?

  6. H.R. says:

    another ian: “How long till the emperor is seen to be starkers?”

    Oh, oh, oh… you made me laugh with that one. It gains something in the translation.
    @Julian Jones (Long time no see, BTW): Yup. Most of us have become bilingual in English here. 😜 Heck! You can throw in a spot of Welsh (Double winky!)

    I had to learn the Welsh Anthem in Welsh. I can still sing it but I can’t spell a word of it. My tongue and my brain have never been the same since. (OK… triple winky…. barely. Oy vey, what a tongue twister is Welsh!)

    The World would be completely different if the Welsh had learned Yiddish……………….

    Hahahahahahahahah! Just yanking your chain. The Welsh are in the top 3 of my favorite people. And Welsh dishes are underrated, too. Not a broad palate, but a few strictly Welsh dishes that stand up to any cuisine.

  7. philjourdan says:

    I hope Oz tells Google where to go. There are alternatives. And Kicking google out of an entire country would not be good PR for google.

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    It looks like the row is over a proposed Australian law that would require Google, Faceplant, etc. to PAY Australian news providers for the use of their content.

    Seems reasonable to me… Though it isn’t exactly clear to me how a search engine is consuming news…

    I think Google will gladly shut off Australia so as to “make an example” of them, otherwise all sorts of countries will hop on the money train…

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    @Julian Jones:

    Well, I’ve looked and looked and just can’t find any Welsh wine or Welsh lamb in the stores here. Sorry…

    @Another Ian:

    No need to put pointers in one article to comments in another. I read them all.


    What’s that Die Hard guy’s line? “I speak 2 languages, English and Bad English.”? Something like that…

  10. Julian Jones says:

    @H.R. Thank you … I had a Jewish maternal grandfather ;-)
    (Have been distracted by late fatherhood – a now 18 month toddler wreaking havoc. Also in horror at US domestic situation; big thanks to @EMS for his prescience and actions here).

    @EMS Thank you also for checking out the Welsh lamb – maybe after a UK-USA trade deal. That is … if Wales hasn’t also departed UK as Scotland now looks likely to try shortly.
    But most important, if you cannot find redcurrent jelly – maybe cranberry jelly would work in a gravy.

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