It’s once again an Australia Time Friday! It’s FRIDAY!!!!
Bargain Market Grocery Outlet have now removed the lamb section. That’s confirmation that there’s no Lamb being “remaindered” on the market. People are willing to bid up whatever is available.
Smart & Final had one pound of ground meat and one pound of shoulder chops, so I bought both. About $8 / pound, so price rise firmly in place. They had a few trimmed rib racks at about $17 / lb. (which I passed by for obvious reasons…)
The lamb is a different brand from the usual too. “Opal Valley”. Looks like they import the whole lamb then process and package here (per the label saying processing done in the USA).
It looks like the drought explained in a comment last week has crimped my Lamb supply here.
Tonight we’ll have the lamb chops, and IF I’m ambitious, I’ll turn the pound of ground (minced) into “taco Filling” (AKA Burrito Filling) and see how that works out. I’ve wanted to try it, have the tortillas, and this might be my last chance for a while ;-)
Intended sides are a Caesar Salad and e-steamed Broccoli along with some asparagus.
The wine tonight is another “Hand Picked” brand, but this time a Shiraz from 2016. I’ve already started on it 8-) and it has ambition in the glass. An inky dark red verging on black, with a light nose and strong on the palate. Not tannic so much as strongly flavored. Lots of grape in it, with some sense of skins, but not dry acid tannic. It has aged well, and would likely age well for several more years had it not encountered me…
I also bought a bottle of Cabernet, intended for saving until next week, but… Remembering how well a blend worked out in the prior experiment, I’m thinking this ambitious Shiraz would really improve a Cab or even a thin Merlot. So depending on how fast my tongue acclimates to the Shiraz, I may conduct a blending experiment and report back.
I find that with repeated exposure I’m growing quite fond of The Shiraz Experience and finding Merlot increasingly a bit thin and bland…
The bottle says it is from South Australia, but beyond that is low in information. I get the impression that the “Hand Picked” brand buys bulk from vintners, ages it a bit, then bottles it up with a longer dated label than most. It would be interesting to look into them and their operation. So far I like their selections.
Deficiencies continue in the south-eastern quarter of Queensland, and have increased in severity compared to last month
Deficiencies also persist in parts of south-western to central regions of Western Australia, but the size of these areas has decreased substantially following above average February rainfall
Accumulated rainfall deficits at multi-year timescales remain significant in many parts of Australia, and may persist for some time
Root-zone soil moisture has decreased across much of Queensland, and increased across much of Western Australia and parts of south-east Australia
Major water storage levels remain low in the northern Murray–Darling Basin
Northern Australian water storages increased significantly in response to the northern monsoon
South East Queensland storages remain low
So with Australian Lamb being priced up at least $2 / lb more than “regular”, a drought in place, and lamb becoming dear even for folks in Australia: Is it a bad idea for me to be pushing buying more Australian Lamb when the folks Down Under are wishing they could afford it? Is it time to “move on” to some other dish?
I’m going to continue with the wine, as there seems to not yet be a shortage (come on all you slackers! We’ve GOT to drink ’em dry! Get on it!! ;-) But it does look like marketing the Lamb is not suffering from too much supply.
So tell me what’s the thing that’s in excess supply in Australia, exported here, that is The Thing I ought to be searching out. (And do nay say Iron Ore ;-)
I’m going to post this now, and then update after the dinner is done.
I couldn’t wait. I opened the Rosemount Estate Diamond Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2019. At just barely 3 years, it is young and ought to be aged more. Still, the fruit is light and the wine rather mellow for such a young year. But that is after 1/2 a glass of the Shiraz With Ambition… so judge accordingly…
I’ve mixed the two 1/2 glasses into a 50:50 blend. Once again this “lights up” the wine. Flavor rises for both. The “a bit too much” of the Shiraz is mellowed down to an OMG on the tongue. The “Nice Cabernet” is lifted up to an “I want MORE” Cabernet. Just enough tannins to make a dry finish along the sides and back of the tongue, but not any bitter after tastes. Nose richer than the Shiraz alone. Deeper and more complex flavors.
I think I’m becoming a blending fanatic ;-)
A bit later I’ll go back to some of each alone and see how I feel about them, but for now, I’ve got a salad to make, lamb to coat with olive oil and lay in the pan, and some vegetables to prep for the steamer basket…
Lambchops, simply fried in Olive Oil, with salt and pepper. 4 to 5 minutes / side on medium (depending on thickness). We never did get to the broccoli… Something about saying “Asparagus” resulted in a hard stop “Yes, just Asparagus”… Buttered.
Well, meal a success, spouse happy, all of us thinking a nap sounds good. (The excess lamb drippings from the frying pan get poured over the dog kibble so they, too, get to enjoy “the fat of the lamb”… and food flavor more closely matches what their noses tell them we are having ;-)
Once again, Thank You, Australia! For making possible Yet Another wonderful evening for dinner & drink & dogs looking for lap time after special kibble…
Oh, and I’ve not yet been able to pull back from the 50:50 mix… I think blending has captured me ;-)