Friends Of Australia Friday Price Rise Lamb & “Hand Picked” Cabernet

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

The Tucker

Today I had to visit 4 stores to find Australian lamb. 3 were entirely sold out. Places where I’ve often found a bin full, had none. Costco (which I mentioned before) and the surprise this week was Bargain Market Grocery Outlet (that mostly sells what is in excess supply so they can get a deal) had nothing. Walmart too, but they rarely have lamb here. Smart & Final had none. (Yes, that’s 4 without, but I’m not counting Walmart who don’t normally carry it at my local store).

I finally found a pound of minced Australian lamb at Lucky’s. The Fifth store. It was just a few pennies shy of $9 / pound where it had been $7 not long ago. OK, what’s up with that? Whatever, I bought it.

So we had the typical Salisbury Steak of ground lamb with sauteed onions in it. Sides of baked buttered squash and e-steamed broccoli.

I find myself wondering if this is the typical late winter into spring seasonal shortage of “spring lamb” in Australia or if it is the result of a lot of folks getting the message on Australia and lamb and China… In theory, in Australia, they are headed into Fall, so ought to still be having ‘not quite yearling’ lamb (i.e. just shy of mutton, though in the USA yearling mutton can be sold as ‘lamb’ so who knows…)

So what’s the availability of lamb Down Under, eh? Y’all stuffing it down by the kilo and laughing at us across the Pacific? Or all sold out ’cause we’ve been downing yer tucker, eh? Something is going on, and I don’t know what, but somebody has eaten up all the lamb over here… I can’t imagine why…

Whatever. At this rate I may need to find an alternative Australian Main Dish. 8-)

The Wine

Tonight was a Margaret River Cabernet bottled by “Hand Picked” brand from 2013. Smooth (as one would expect from an 8 year old vintage) with a nice nose, good fruit, and a nice ruby color in the glass. It was easy to drink with or without food. I’ll certainly be buying what I can of this one. About $7 / bottle (and realize they are often 1/2 to 1/3 the price elsewhere for a given drop…) at Bargain Market Grocery Outlet wine department.

A new arrival at the Bargain Market discount store, I suspect it will be sold out shortly. Pickings were getting slim there for Australian wines, too. IIRC, there were 4 reds and only one white left. 3 of which I’d had before. So it also looks like Australian Wine is no longer being “remaindered” much either. I suspect I’ll soon be going to the expensive Wine Of The World store to find a selection of Australian wines (and that’s a good thing!)

Given the prior citation of an article stating Australian Farmers were seeing higher lamb prices, I suspect that Chinese “boycott” has had little effect other than changing who gets to eat the lamb and drink the wines from Australia. I’m pretty sure I’ve had my share (and then some ;-0 ) That’s the thing about fungible commodities. Stop buying from one source just means folks change partners. Doesn’t reduce total demand or total sales. OTOH, piss off 1/2 Billion People, you just might find a few hundred Million of them stepping up to the table with forks and glasses ….

So it goes… IFF it becomes difficult and way too expensive to continue with the lamb and wine theme, I may well have to swap to others. Yet Fosters “Oil Can” beer was selling for $2.50 / can at Lucky’s, so even the beer isn’t cheap at the moment…

Hope all finds you well Down Under and I’ll keep doing my part as long as the wallet holds out. (And the liver… but that’s a different topic ;-)

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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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14 Responses to Friends Of Australia Friday Price Rise Lamb & “Hand Picked” Cabernet

  1. H.R. says:

    Question for the Aussie readers: Do y’all have an Australian bologna? I’m talking something like lamb or kangaroo bologna; something unique to Australia.

    In the U.S., it’s beef, chicken, or pork or some combination of those to make bologna. The taste ranges from very bland, which the kids like starting out, to some combination of garlic and spices that are anything but bland. New York deli bologna is much like that, and all beef as I understand it.

    There are some versions of bologna with pickle and pimento, or cheese bits, and one version with olives. I like the olive version because those little guys tend to roll out of a sandwich if I have to add them myself.

    So, if not a unique bologna, is there some other sliced lunchmeat that that is Oz Only?
    I just finished an olive bologna sandwich with smoked gouda cheese, nuked in the microwave just enough to get the cheese all melty. Soooo… that got me to wondering and this is the best place and thread to get an answer.

  2. E.M.Smith says:


    Don’t forget my favorite! Mortadella! Bologna made with way too much garlic for most folks AND “cubes of pork neck fat” for that special richness ;-)

    Mortadella (Italian pronunciation: [mortaˈdɛlla]) is a large Italian sausage or luncheon meat (salume [saˈluːme]) made of finely hashed or ground heat-cured pork, which incorporates at least 15% small cubes of pork fat (principally the hard fat from the neck of the pig). It is traditionally flavoured with black pepper grains, but modern versions can also contain pistachios or, more rarely, myrtle berries.

    The best-known version of mortadella is Mortadella Bologna IGP, but other varieties are found across Italy, including some made of other meats.
    Mortadella originated in Bologna, the capital of Emilia-Romagna. Anna Del Conte (The Gastronomy of Italy 2001) found a sausage mentioned in a document of the official body of meat preservers in Bologna dated 1376 that may be mortadella.

    Put that on a couple of slices of Italian Batard bread, mustard on the meat side, mayo on the other, and top with a flavorful cheese like Smoked Guda… or a Pepper Jack…

    In the USA you will not find it named Mortadella Balogna because, you know, EU Plutocrats:

    Mortadella Bologna has Protected Geographical Indication (IGP) status under European Union law and is the best known world-wide.
    The zone of production is extensive; as well as Emilia-Romagna and the neighbouring regions of Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, Marche and Tuscany, it includes Lazio and Trentino.
    Mortadella di Prato, produced in Tuscany, is also defined by an IGP. It is flavoured with pounded garlic and coloured with alchermes.
    Mortadella of Amatrice, high in the Apennines of northern Lazio, is lightly smoked.
    Mortadella di cavallo is made from horsemeat in Albano Laziale in Lazio.
    The American sausage called “bologna” is named after the mortadella of Bologna.

    But note that our Balogna does not have the characteristic fat lumps nor does it share the high garlic content of our Mortadella (that is similar to Mortadella de Prato).

    Middle East and North Africa

    In several countries, such as Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Israel, halal or kosher mortadella is sold, which is made from chicken, beef, or turkey. The Siniora brand, established in Jerusalem in 1920, is the first in the region, a mortadella with sliced olives, pistachios or pepper. Lebanese Al-Taghziah is a famous brand that is sold around the world. The most popular brands in the GCC are Americana Group and Halwani Brothers. It is also popular in Iran, albeit usually made with beef or lamb, and called commonly kaalbas, from Russian kolbasa.

    So lamb bologna does exist… In Iran…

    Boar’s Head makes a great one that is available in Public’s supermarkets down south:

    Boar’s Head Mortadella is crafted using a time-honored Venetian recipe. Select cuts of pork are accented with garlic and spices, then delicately roasted in the Old World Italian way.

    I got hooked on it thanks to the Venetian love of Garlic ;-)

    They also have one with pistachios in it that I just love:

    Find it if you can…

    (We now return you to all things Australian and the quest for Lamb Mortadella… ;-)

  3. philjourdan says:

    That video was Perfect! I loved the director chair Unicorn one the best!

  4. beththeserf says:

    Ýes we have no bologna…
    Roasted, barbecued, ‘
    braised or stewed,
    cutlets, kababs,
    sausage rolls
    or pizza …
    ‘n that’s about itsa.

  5. H.R. says:

    Ya made me laugh, beth.

    A bit disappointed, though. No Aussie OY! bologna? Dang!

  6. H.R. says:

    Oh, gee. Where are my manners? THANK YOU for that wonderful link to the lamb recipes, Beth.

    I’ve bookmarked that one. Excellent!
    P.S. I expect E.M. to be along any moment to say, “If I had some artichokes and peaches, I could have Lamb with Artichokes and Peaches, if I had some lamb.” 😜

    Seems he’s running out of lamb, else the lambs are outrunning him.

    E.M. is getting close To “Vegemite Friday” if the lamb section of the meat case doesn’t improve soon. That, or he’ll have to explain his new flock of wooly ‘Toro’** grass mowers to his neighbors.

    **Big brand of lawnmower and lawncare equipment in the U.S.

  7. beththeserf says:

    Gonna try some of those recipes meself. I have a small repertoire of lamb favourites, roast lamb, grilled lamb chops or cutlets, lamb cutlet casserole with potato, onion, carrot medley, and curried lamb, mostly with same ol’ accompaniments.

    Some of those recipes look very tempting and I am goin’ to branch out, even tho I am a serf.

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    I keep thinking Lamb Burittos…. or Lamb Tacos… or maybe Lamb Enchiladas…..

  9. H.R. says:

    @Beth – I’m eyeing the lamb sausage rolls, pizzas, and flatbreads.

    I went through the whole list and didn’t see a single recipe I couldn’t choke down. Oh, and towards the bottom, they have some recipes with lamb and rhubarb.

    We have a rhubarb plant that is in a very happy place. It produces so well, we invite a neighbor over to get a couple of cuttings and we get 3 to 4 cuttings as well.

    I can see lamb and rhubarb working. I’d certainly never thought of that flavor combo before, though.

    Looks like we’ve got our work cut out for us to make it to the bottom of that list, eh? At one/week or so, it would take close to two year to work through those recipes.

  10. another ian says:

    Not Oz traditional but the best use I’ve found for mutton shoulders is as goulash

  11. beththeserf says:

    I may exceed one a week, HR. I plan to do the lamb and home grown rhubarb too. I make rhubarb chutney and it is tasty.

  12. billinoz says:

    @EM, The flooding rains have come here.. The drought has buggered off again as it always does.. And so Aussie farmers instead of selling livestock like sheep, lambs & cattle, are buying livestock to graze the growing grasses…
    So of course livestock prices are going up, up, up.
    Lamb is getting pricey even here…
    But the wine is still cheap… So enjoy..

    PS Oz politics : Western Australia had state election yesterday. The state Labor government was re-elected in a landslide..In fact the conservative mob, named the Liberals were almost wiped out. Maybe just 2 seats in the parliament now…

    Why ? Only one reason : the Covid pandemic. The Labour state government closed the state borders tight with quarantine for anyone entering the state from the rest of Australia and overseas. And WA has been going gang busters economically since about June 2020.

    By contrast the Liberals were pushing for fewer Covid restrictions..The WA people have given their opinion of that strategy !

  13. philjourdan says:

    Welcome back BillinOz

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