Eat Lamb on Australia Day
January 26th is Australia Day when "real" Australians are supposed to eat lamb
In the United States the whole of January is National Meat Month, but in Australia, when we celebrate Australia Day on 26 January we are encouraged to eat lamb.
Australia has had a lot more sheep than people since the early colonial days. In 2012 flock numbers were around 77 million, down from 170 million in 1990. Wool has been a major agricultural export throughout Australian history and in the 1950s the phrase was coined that Australia "rode on the sheep's back." In the lead-up to Australia Day in 2005, a campaign was created to promote lamb as the food for Australia Day (26 January). A former Australian rules football player, Sam Kekovich was signed up for the campaign. Sam, who was born on 11 March 1950 became the national lamb spokesman.
Image credit: jules:stonesoup on flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/stone-soup/3000685281...
Sam Kekovich Lamb Adverts
Sam delivers tongue-in-cheek deadpan commentary to the camera where nothing and nobody is sacred. In the 2005 campaign he called vegetarians "un-Australian" which outraged the Australian Vegetarian Society and animal rights activists. There were calls for the adverts to be banned, but the Australian Advertising Standards Bureau allowed them to stay as they were clearly satire. Each year since then there has been a new ad and they have developed a cult following and do increase sales of lamb in January, where people traditionally hold barbeques in the summer weather. My favorite ad is the Barbie Girl one from 2012. McDonalds even sell a lamb burger for a limited time in January and Kekovich appeared in the advert for that too.
Sam Kekovich Australia Day Message 2005
2005 Lamb Advert Poll
(Those who liked the ad will find the ads for all years further down the page)
What do you think of the ad?
Australia Day Lamb
Australia Day is a time to celebrate so you don't want recipes that take hours to prepare. The best choices are lamb chops, cutlets or kebabs that can be marinated beforehand, or a simple lamb roast. You can make your own marinades or buy them. Below are some marinades that go well with lamb. there are also links to marinades you can buy on Amazon. The traditional accompaniment to lamb is mint sauce or the thicker mint jelly, so that is a must too.
With marinades, mix all the ingredients together then put in the meat and allow it to marinate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight. You can use a zip lock bag instead of a bowl.
Six good marinades for lamb
- Honey Soy Marinade
Combine 1 clove garlic, 1/3 cup soy sauce 2 tablespoons sesame oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 tablespoons honey.
- Balsamic Marinade
Combine ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon finely shredded mint and salt and pepper to taste.
- Greek Style Lamb Marinade
Combine 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon thyme ,1/2 teaspoon oregano,1/2 teaspoon bay leaf and a dash of salt and pepper.
- Aromatic marinade
Combine 3 crushed garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 teaspoons garam masala, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric and salt and pepper to taste.
- Rosemary lamb marinade
Combine 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar,1 tablespoon dried rosemary, 2 cloves minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
- Zesty oregano marinade
Combine 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 2 crushed dried bay leaves, 1 tablespoons olive oil, juice and rind from one orange, salt and pepper to taste.