Lamb's ok baa me, says butcher

JUST like millions of his fellow Australians, Queanbeyan butcher Peter Lindbeck will be putting some lamb on the barbie this Australia Day.

The meat has become the flavour of day when it comes to celebrating our great nation, Mr Lindbeck said.

"It's really become entrenched that lamb is what you eat on this day," he said.

"It's just like with Christmas, everyone wants turkey and now with Australia Day, everyone wants lamb."

When it comes to flavouring the meat, Mr Lindbeck said you can't go wrong with rosemary and garlic.

"Those two things really enhance the flavour whether it lamb chops or roast," he said.

"And add a little bit of salt. I know it's bad for you but it just tastes so good."

Barbecuing is the obvious and preferred method of cooking, but don't overcook it warns the butcher.

"You don't have to turn it into a cremation. Cook it like you would a steak," Mr Lindbeck said.

"It should have a nice pink blush in the middle. Just cook it medium rare, it allows the meat to retain its moisture and flavour. Don't incinerate it which is what often happens when people barbecue."

Mr Lindbeck estimates he sells three times the usual amount of lamb around this time of year at his Cooma Street shop front.

"You've got to allow for that demand or you'll definitely run out. We've got a huge range of lamb steak, rack, sausages and roast," he said.

"Anything you can put on the barbecue is what people want. Butterflied lamb legs are really popular as are lamb cutlets, because you can put it straight on the barbecue."

Mr Lindbeck said there's been a lamb resurgence in the past few years owing to some clever marketing by Meat and Livestock Australia.

The organisation's ads featuring Sam Kekovich have become something of an annual tradition, with this year's theme "Generation lamb".

"I've noticed in the last five years that Australia Day has become a big thing. People feel it's patriotic to try and incorporate some lamb into their celebrations," Mr Lindbeck said.

"It wasn't such a big thing in the past to have lamb on Australia Day. The Sam Kekovich ads promoting lamb has really settled in people's minds that's the thing to eat on Australia Day."

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