For the love of lamb

It would appear I'm certainly not alone in my addiction, I mean love, of lamb

"NOT chops again, Mum!"

Growing up, this was a common complaint from my sister and I about our Mum's cuisine.

Far too common, it seemed for our Dad's liking.

When we were aged about seven and five respectively, and he was fed up with our whining, he took on catering for the evening meal.

He had great delight is presenting his daughters with a plate of dry dog food each for dinner.

We quickly changed our tune and professed our love for Mum's cooking, in particular, her good ol' lamb chops.

With our lesson learnt and Dad satisfied with his practical "farmer style" parenting solution, we were presented with our meat and three veg.

As children growing up on farms where lamb and beef were readily available, I think we tended to take for granted how amazing red meat is. Once you fly the coop and have to buy and cook for yourself, Mum's lamb chops all of a sudden have great appeal.

Speaking of lamb chops, for my colleague Simone Norrie, sharing her Dad's home grown Eugowra lamb chops turns out to be a measure of how much she likes you.

I should know, I was given the "privilege" (her words not mine) of eating some "Cairn Hill" lamb chops when we watched the State of Origin last month.

"I don't share my 'Cairn Hill' chops with just anyone you know?" she told me.

Simone and Cara tuck into their coveted "Cairn Hill" lamb chops.

I'm also quite fond of lamb shanks - a fondness my father doesn't quite share.

If I had a dollar for every time I've heard my old man say at a restaurant "would you look at that - lamb shanks on the menu, back in my day we fed them to the dogs"...well I could probably afford to order lamb shanks.

This makes me wonder if lamb shanks are now the norm on menus, what will my children try to serve up to me in the future? I can hear it now - "offal with red wine jus suit you for dinner, Mum?".

I guess you've got the gist by now that I have quite a penchant for lamb. Indeed, my choice of a "death row meal" would be Mum's lamb roast, should that situation arise.

But it would appear I'm certainly not alone in my addiction, I mean love of lamb. In Australia, we spend just over $2 billion a year on it as the most loyal and largest consumers of our lamb.

As you can imagine I have been in good company for the last couple of days at the biennial LambEx conference in Adelaide.

The event was a sell-out and attracted 900 lamb producers from across the country where everything from eating quality to electronic identification was brought to the table.

Oh and just in case you were wondering, there was no mention at LambEx of lamb offal making its way onto menus anytime soon.

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TheLand

Cara Jeffery

is the national sheep and wool writer for Fairfax Agricultural Media
A matter of opinionA selection of editorials from around the Fairfax Agricultural Media group covering the issues of the week.

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