17 August 2016

At home with Sophia: American style ribs

| Sophia Carlini
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Every now and then, I get the biggest craving for a rack of American style ribs; unfortunately, I haven’t found any good ribs places in Canberra. The places I have tried have been disappointing, with sickly sweet marinades and anorexic cows; there’s nothing worse then paying a bucket load for ribs and getting the tiniest bit of meat.

As I was walking past the butcher in the Canberra Centre, I noticed massive beef ribs in their display. I bought 6 ribs and 2 pieces of steak (for another night’s dinner); it cost me almost $70! I could not believe it. I was almost tempted to tell the butcher not to worry about it, but I felt bad that he had already packed it all up. All I could do was hope that the were going to be the most delicious ribs there ever was.

I looked for a marinade recipe and came across one from Taste.com which I have adapted.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/3 cup bourbon (a small bottle of bourbon is almost $30 — I would recommend borrowing a cup from a bourbon drinker!)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1.5kg pork or beef ribs
  • Lime wedges, to serve

Method:

Combine the tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, bourbon, sugar, paprika and garlic in a baking dish. Add ribs and coat in marinade.

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Cover and marinate in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight. Remove ribs from the fridge 1 hour before baking.

Preheat oven to 150 degrees.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 1.5-2 hours. I actually left my on for 4 hours because I had the time and wanted the meat to be really tender.

Once tender, you can either turn the heat up to 200 degrees and caramelise in the over for approximately 10 minutes or, you can chuck them on the BBQ for a couple of minutes. I went for the BBQ option. Tip: to get extra flavour and to use all of the marinade, baste the ribs whilst on the BBQ with the sauce from the bottom of the baking dish.

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I felt like a salad would go perfectly with these ribs and would cut through the heaviness nicely, so I adapted my favourite salad recipe, and by adapted, I mean that I didn’t have any cabbage left in my fridge.

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The flavour was so good and Mike (my fiancé, for readers new to the series) loved them!

A tip to save yourself money: 6 was two too many for two people, and unfortunately they just don’t make for very good left overs.

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HenryBG said :

rubaiyat said :

Found these slightly dated references:

https://www.londontoolkit.com/blog/eats/coffee-shop-chains-in-london/

Coffee is about 25% more expensive than here.

http://www.londontoolkit.com/blog/eats/indicative-prices-of-family-restaurants-in-london-2014/

Meals look the same as or more expensive than here. Quality? That I leave up to you. Been a while since I was in the UK but the food was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Good grief.
Price checking by visiting tourist-trap chain-stores? In Kensington???

Here is a posh Oxfordshire pub’s menu:
http://www.dunstewwhitehorse.co.uk/restaurant/menu
mmm. yum. This stuff comes from local farms.

How does it compare with the “Walt & Burley”:
http://www.waltandburley.com.au/pdf/201601_waltandburley_menu.pdf
Nothing in it.
And *I* know which is going to be better…

And moving away from Kensington, and to somewhere that is a bit more on the level with Canberra in terms of class, money and style, we go to Gelato Heaven in Luton:
http://www.gelatoheaven.co.uk/parlourmenu
1 scoop Gelato – $4
waffles with 6 toppings – $10. Super-expensive waffle – $14.

In Canberra?
Gelatissimo – 1 scoop = $5
Waffles –
Smoque: w. 2 toppings – $10.
Or, http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/breakfast-in-the-city-20140529-zrrln.html
$17.

But most importantly, here are the UK fresh vegie prices at the supermarket, in the middle of winter:
Carrots – $1.20/kg
Broccoli – $3/kg
Onions $1.4/kg
Cucumber – $1/ea
http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/search/default.aspx?searchBox=cucumber&newSort=true&search=Search

How about Woolies:
https://www.woolworths.com.au/Shop/Browse/fruit-veg/fresh-veg
Carrots – $2.48/kg
Broccoli – $5.5/kg
Onions $2.98/kg
Cucumber – $2/ea

As you can see, we pay almost exactly 2x the price they pay for fresh food in the UK.

Wage costs in the UK are much, much lower.

HenryBG said :

As you can see, we pay almost exactly 2x the price they pay for fresh food in the UK.

No we can see that we pay ALMOST twice as much for broccoli. Because it is out of season.

We pay less for cucumbers, 70¢ at Coles, and you got the figures wrong for both the onions and the carrots, which are only a little more expensive at Woolies.

Why have you picked on this tiny set of 4 vegetables?

Because most of the other staples from Tesco’s, of the long list I posted and which got deleted, cost 70% to 400% more at Tesco’s than Woolies.

Charlotte Harper7:28 am 04 Feb 16

Hi Rubaiyat, I’m guessing your post was deleted by the overnight moderator because they felt the conversation about the price comparison of food had gone on long enough and I tend to agree with them. Time to move on, so I’ll approve this one then let’s leave it, thank you.

Quality doesn’t seem to rate highly in the opinion of many RiotACT posters (or they simply don’t know what that is), so it is worth taking note of what independent markets make of our food.

This article from the ABC addresses the new markets in the Middle East who are much closer to Europe, but prefer Australian produce:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-18/veg-exports-middle-east-boom-japan-declines/6705810

“Mr Sawlani said UAE citizens and the expat community in Dubai were demanding higher quality produce from Australia instead, and were prepared to pay for it.”

“UAE fresh food retailer and processor, Barakat Quality Plus, has been sourcing Australian carrots for over 20 years, as well as potatoes and citrus.

The company’s purchase manager, Anil Pillai, said Australian carrots were the best in the world.

“We tried many origins for carrots from other countries, but we didn’t get a good result, so we came back to Australian carrots,”

“”The cost of production is quite high [in Australia], so it is difficult for us to compete with some of the large-scale production countries that can export vegetables at a cheaper price.

However, Australia’s reputation as a world-leading producer of clean, green and safe vegetables is something that is really driving consumer demand for Australian vegetables in the UAE.”

etc

rubaiyat said :

Found these slightly dated references:

https://www.londontoolkit.com/blog/eats/coffee-shop-chains-in-london/

Coffee is about 25% more expensive than here.

http://www.londontoolkit.com/blog/eats/indicative-prices-of-family-restaurants-in-london-2014/

Meals look the same as or more expensive than here. Quality? That I leave up to you. Been a while since I was in the UK but the food was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Good grief.
Price checking by visiting tourist-trap chain-stores? In Kensington???

Here is a posh Oxfordshire pub’s menu:
http://www.dunstewwhitehorse.co.uk/restaurant/menu
mmm. yum. This stuff comes from local farms.

How does it compare with the “Walt & Burley”:
http://www.waltandburley.com.au/pdf/201601_waltandburley_menu.pdf
Nothing in it.
And *I* know which is going to be better…

And moving away from Kensington, and to somewhere that is a bit more on the level with Canberra in terms of class, money and style, we go to Gelato Heaven in Luton:
http://www.gelatoheaven.co.uk/parlourmenu
1 scoop Gelato – $4
waffles with 6 toppings – $10. Super-expensive waffle – $14.

In Canberra?
Gelatissimo – 1 scoop = $5
Waffles –
Smoque: w. 2 toppings – $10.
Or, http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/breakfast-in-the-city-20140529-zrrln.html
$17.

But most importantly, here are the UK fresh vegie prices at the supermarket, in the middle of winter:
Carrots – $1.20/kg
Broccoli – $3/kg
Onions $1.4/kg
Cucumber – $1/ea
http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/search/default.aspx?searchBox=cucumber&newSort=true&search=Search

How about Woolies:
https://www.woolworths.com.au/Shop/Browse/fruit-veg/fresh-veg
Carrots – $2.48/kg
Broccoli – $5.5/kg
Onions $2.98/kg
Cucumber – $2/ea

As you can see, we pay almost exactly 2x the price they pay for fresh food in the UK.

Forgot to add that is US lbs and Australian kilograms.

dungfungus was saying we need a Fact Checker on these forums.

Well if anyone else wants a go, that is how it is done.

rubaiyat said :

Which leads to the question what about the States?

Harder to do because of the sad state of their food, it is hard to find regular, unprocessed, unshredded, unsliced, unindividually packaged, cheeses.

Finally determined that Tillamook Cheddar is a low price block cheese available from Trader Joes (Aldi’s US arm) and Walmart for US$$3.59 a year ago.

That translates to A$11.30. Today.

Almost but not quite double the Australian price, and subject to a tasting, my experience of the US says that would it would be of dubious quality.

Which leads to the question what about the States?

Harder to do because of the sad state of their food, it is hard to find regular, unprocessed, unshredded, unsliced, unindividually packaged, cheeses.

Finally determined that Tillamook Cheddar is a low price block cheese available from Trader Joes (Aldi’s US arm) and Walmart for US$$3.59 a year ago.

That translates to A$11.30. Today.

Subsidies don’t seem to make a difference.

The cheapest cheddar in the British supermarket surveys is £4.83 (A$9.90) at Morrisons, £5.00 (A$10.25) at Aldi UK.

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/nov/22/which-supermarket-cheapest-morrisons-aldi-asda

Aldi Australia it is £2.92 (A$6.00)

“But it’s the supermarket prices in the UK that are astoundingly cheaper than they are here.” Leaves me totally puzzled. What on earth are you seeing when you look at things?

The easily demonstrated fact is that UK supermarkets far from being “amazingly cheaper” are in fact “amazingly expensive”. The exact opposite of what you claim.

By a huge margin not even a little one.

Thanks for letting me scratch this itch. Curiosity does lead you to new discoveries.

btw Whilst I was poking around in Sainsbury’s found a bottle of plain old Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay costs $14.35 in the UK.

The great thing about travel is just how it opens your eyes to the fact that Australia really is the lucky country, no doubt about it. I meet lots of British travellers who obsess over how they can get to stay here, and my Austrian relatives are over here every chance they can get, and they are not doing too badly at home. Wish we had their 6 weeks plus annual holidays.

Was curious about the lack of difference in the Beef mince, so checked the fat %.

Sainsburys was actually 10% fat and by our standards low grade.

I thought it was better and chose the top of the line Aussie mince.

So Woolies:

Beef premium mince (5% fat) is £5.35 ($A11.00) per kg

Both substantially cheaper and still half the fat.

For the benefit of all of you who shop at Harrads for the “Everyday Lower Prices” 🙂

Today’s Woolworths prices for the same items:

Chicken breast is £4.39 (A$9.00) per kg.

Beef mince heart smart is £7.75 ($A15.99) per kg

Pink Lady Apples are £2.42 (A$4.98) per kg.

House brand spaghetti is £0.98 ($A2.00) per kg

Potatoes are £1.45 (A$2.99) per kg

Can’t price check everything but directly from Sainsburys’ website today:

Chicken breast is £8.50 (A$17.45) per kg.

Beef mince low fat is £8.00 ($A16.40) per kg

Pink Lady Apples are £3.00 (A$6.15) per kg.

House brand spaghetti is £1.70 ($A3.50) per kg

Potatoes are £1.20/kg/A$2.46 per kg

What I detect is comparing numbers and not values, not doing the maths and some exaggeration to “make a point”, assuming no-one checks.

Found these slightly dated references:

https://www.londontoolkit.com/blog/eats/coffee-shop-chains-in-london/

Coffee is about 25% more expensive than here.

http://www.londontoolkit.com/blog/eats/indicative-prices-of-family-restaurants-in-london-2014/

Meals look the same as or more expensive than here. Quality? That I leave up to you. Been a while since I was in the UK but the food was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

rubaiyat said :

And a club lunch at Southern Cross Club will set you back $8.99 with a schooner of beer $13.49. ie €4.39 and €6.85. How much was your beer at the UK pub?.

Sorry my mistake. I switched my Euros and Pounds.

£4.39 lunch and £6.85 with beer

€5.80 lunch and €8.70 with beer

If you want a better comparison of international exchange rates and possibly food prices, consult The Economist’s Big Mac index for world equivalents.

btw I can not find these prices on line, some of which do not sound plausible compared to what I do find. But if you are comparing cheap with cheap, it is not hard to have a hearty cooked meal in Canberra for $7.99 or $8.99 and Canberra is one of Australia’s more expensive cities.

Pretending away the extra taxes and tips that are part of the cost of dining out in many countries, is certainly not honest. In the USA the auto tipping when paying electronically is now over 20% and that is on top of the City and State taxes imposed but not quoted on the menu price. The locals are not unaware of this which is why they frequent the junk food outlets where they attempt to avoid topping up the working poor’s incomes.

wildturkeycanoe said :

Sorry for the third post in a row, forgot to mention that cooking the pork to 140 degrees C means not relying on the oven thermostat to get to that temp. Maybe our meat was just a little cooler than that even though it’d been in there for almost an hour. Wise to check with a thermometer the temp of the meat or cook a little hotter to make sure the bugs are dead. Researching the meat safety recommendations for cooking, I now understand the reason for pre-heating the oven. In my impatience I often chuck the meat in while it is warming up. This means it may sit in there for some time at lower temps, possibly breeding the nasty little critters before warming up to safe levels. That could’ve been my mistake yesterday.

How big were the ribs? Was it a whole rack?

Sometimes you can experience a ‘stall’ in cooking bigger pieces of meat at low temperatures. I always cook things to internal meat temperature, not time or oven temperature. This is where having a digital thermometer comes in handy.

Whilst more common in shoulder (pulled pork) and brisket – The stall can still happen with ribs, there is a period of time when the temperature of the meat doesn’t rise, and can sometimes fall as the collagen and connective tissue is rendering. For bigger slabs of meat, this can add another hour to the cooking time.

Have a look at the 3-2-1 method – I have had good results with that. Three hours with smoke. Two hours wrapped in foil with a little liquid. One more hour with smoke while saucing.

An awesome resource for your american ribs is over here: http://amazingribs.com

HenryBG said :

rubaiyat said :

This may be of interest:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/german-cartel-office-fines-wurst-makers-1405425599

btw Last time I had a sausage sanger outside Bunnings, the Coke and Chunder only set me back $5.

All depends where and when you are eating. Compare like with like.

You can’t compare German sausages obtained from a proper sausage-stall with the plain-jane Rotary BBQ at Bunnings.
Except that they are the same price.
I know which I would prefer.

As far as tipping in places like Italy goes – I really don’t remember, but I imagine I’d have added on 10%, and the service was very good.
To give you one example, we went to a harbourside restaurant somewhere near Bari, liked the look of their pizza menu (prices ranged from 2.5 euros -4 euros per pizza, large pizzas) and ordered 5 of them between about 12 of us, plus wine and softdrinks. The pizza was perfect, we ordered another 4. The proprietor then came out with a jug of her home-made Limoncello and gave us all a glass each. The total bill for a dozen of us came to about 60 euros. So I probably tipped her an extra 10.
You cannot get decent pizzas in this country, and if you manage to find half-decent ones (eg Ostani), you’re paying $20 each for very small pizzas, (but they’ve ruined their pizzas by going all Dominos on them).

Last pub lunch I had in the UK (and it was a posh pub in Oxfordshire) came to under 50 pounds for the 5 of us. In Australia you won’t even get the main for less than $25, let alone drinks and nibbles to go with it. But it’s the supermarket prices in the UK that are astoundingly cheaper than they are here.
As far as Europeans subsidising their agricultural sector – sounds pretty good to me. We should to the same, instead of allowing imported fruit to crowd our shelves.

And a club lunch at Southern Cross Club will set you back $8.99 with a schooner of beer $13.49. ie €4.39 and €6.85. How much was your beer at the UK pub?

Every country has different dining habits, foods and pricing.

Government subsidies on food are a scourge. The Europeans, Americans, Japanese and to some extent the Chinese have inflicted this inefficient price distortion on the world which attacks all honest farmers particularly those in 3rd world nations by taking away markets and dumping their surpluses.

The subsidies consume vast portions of the Government budgets. Part of the USA’s socialism for corporations. Feeding the working poor with food stamps so that the corporations can have cheap labour. Much like the slave owners wanted to feed the African slaves breadfruit but ended up with the even cheaper Grits.

The larger nations/blocks who do this have let it get totally out of hand, it causes political corruption, particularly in the USA and forces the poorer nation’s farmers off their land and into desperate attempts at dangerous illegal migration into the 1st world nations who cause the problem, but complain about the consequences.

It also ruins the food. The US meat is so fatty because it is nearly all stall raised or from feed lots where the animals barely move as they eat mountains of the subsidised corn and consequently are extremely fatty.

A US Big Mac is 50% fat! Half if which is saturated fat. Twice what they are in Australia which are still massively unhealthy but only a quarter fat. The school lunches which are also subsidised for the benefit of the corporations, who feed a good chunk of the subsidies back into the pockets of the politicians behind the programs, are even worse. Jamie Oliver exposed the Pink Slime, chemically extracted residue from carcases that goes into childrens’ school burgers and starts them on the steep downhill slide into obesity.

Life for the lifelong caged animals, particularly intelligent pigs, is horrific. That this is all kept from your not too curious gaze makes it no better.

That life is “greener” over the fence in most cases is a massive lie, at minimum a massive self deception.

wildturkeycanoe7:46 am 01 Feb 16

Sorry for the third post in a row, forgot to mention that cooking the pork to 140 degrees C means not relying on the oven thermostat to get to that temp. Maybe our meat was just a little cooler than that even though it’d been in there for almost an hour. Wise to check with a thermometer the temp of the meat or cook a little hotter to make sure the bugs are dead. Researching the meat safety recommendations for cooking, I now understand the reason for pre-heating the oven. In my impatience I often chuck the meat in while it is warming up. This means it may sit in there for some time at lower temps, possibly breeding the nasty little critters before warming up to safe levels. That could’ve been my mistake yesterday.

wildturkeycanoe7:38 am 01 Feb 16

Curse my fat fingers and typing on the phone. Also, I did manage to get some BBQ beef ribs, smoky hickory marinated pork ribs and Korean style bbq pork belly pieces yesterday. Unfortunately, there was a culprit somewhere among them that caused both my wife and myself to get very, very [eye-watering pain] bad stomach cramps between one o’clock and three o’clock this morning. None of the meat was out of date….there was nothing else in common we’d eaten either. So much for having cravings, next time I hope I desire something less susceptible to gastrointestinal bugs.

I opened a parcel yesterday with some US local newspaper packing. Ribs were $1.99 a pound. That’s $6.20kg. Brisket was 88c a lb.

Which explains why Americans eat so much barbecue and why so many are obese

wildturkeycanoe12:31 pm 31 Jan 16

Curse your subliminal messaginginfluence. I am craving bbq porl ribs now and every butcher and supermarket is sold out. Gonna have to make my own and wait till tomorrow to cook and enjoy them.

rubaiyat said :

This may be of interest:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/german-cartel-office-fines-wurst-makers-1405425599

btw Last time I had a sausage sanger outside Bunnings, the Coke and Chunder only set me back $5.

All depends where and when you are eating. Compare like with like.

You can’t compare German sausages obtained from a proper sausage-stall with the plain-jane Rotary BBQ at Bunnings.
Except that they are the same price.
I know which I would prefer.

As far as tipping in places like Italy goes – I really don’t remember, but I imagine I’d have added on 10%, and the service was very good.
To give you one example, we went to a harbourside restaurant somewhere near Bari, liked the look of their pizza menu (prices ranged from 2.5 euros -4 euros per pizza, large pizzas) and ordered 5 of them between about 12 of us, plus wine and softdrinks. The pizza was perfect, we ordered another 4. The proprietor then came out with a jug of her home-made Limoncello and gave us all a glass each. The total bill for a dozen of us came to about 60 euros. So I probably tipped her an extra 10.
You cannot get decent pizzas in this country, and if you manage to find half-decent ones (eg Ostani), you’re paying $20 each for very small pizzas, (but they’ve ruined their pizzas by going all Dominos on them).

Last pub lunch I had in the UK (and it was a posh pub in Oxfordshire) came to under 50 pounds for the 5 of us. In Australia you won’t even get the main for less than $25, let alone drinks and nibbles to go with it. But it’s the supermarket prices in the UK that are astoundingly cheaper than they are here.
As far as Europeans subsidising their agricultural sector – sounds pretty good to me. We should to the same, instead of allowing imported fruit to crowd our shelves.

Found this website for a Berlin restaurant, Bieberbau:

Looks like modern quality food, french style, I am guessing smaller portions because the pricing is for 3-5 courses and ranges from A$65 to $100.

I can not tell if that is VAT included and presume there will be a service charge or tip on top of that.

This may be of interest:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/german-cartel-office-fines-wurst-makers-1405425599

btw Last time I had a sausage sanger outside Bunnings, the Coke and Chunder only set me back $5.

All depends where and when you are eating. Compare like with like.

HenryBG said :

rubaiyat said :

How do you compare the costs here to say Europe? I hope you are not comparing A$1 with €1 which is currently A$1.55.

“Europe” might share a currency, but each country appears to have entirely separate affordability.

For example, in Germany, you can get a sausage and onion in a roll, with a can of coke, for about 3 euros (so that’s under $5.) This compares very favourably with the gerneralised rip-off we have to suffer in this country.
On the other hand, cross the border into Holland and everything is instantly almost twice the price, making Holland far more similar to Australia, although the food in Australia is far, far better than in Holland.
In the UK, meat and petrol is expensive ($70 for 2 steaks and 6 ribs would be about right), but most other things are significantly cheaper than here in Australia.
Italy is cheap in the South, even cheaper than Germany. The North is slightly more expensive, a bit more like France, which is also significantly cheaper for most things than Australia is, although finding decent food in France is not the easiest task. (Apart from the cheese shops).

All in all, I don’t agree that Australia does bad food – I can’t think of anywhere in the world that consistently offers as good food as you can get in Canberra.
Australian prices, however, are utterly ludicrous, and reflect a society obsessed with handouts and compensation, all paid for by the minority of people who actually pay tax.

I checked a few menus in the UK to try and get some sense of what Jordania was claiming, but never knowing where Jordania is referring to.

The UK prices are comparable to here, despite having a 20% VAT, but I don’t know their tipping protocols, and certainly meat, particularly steak is horrifically expensive.

When travelling it is always wise to eat the local staple, which is why a German Würstl is cheap, well made and very good value. Dutch food would have to be THE reason they left home to conquer the world, much the same reason as for the British.

I have to disagree about Canberra however, much as it has improved in the last 2-3 years, so has the rest of Australia and certainly you can still eat better and cheaper in Sydney and Melbourne, probably also in Tasmania and Adelaide. A reflection of generally higher costs here and a smaller market.

It is all in the timing and selection. I can eat remarkably cheaply (over the counter) in Sydney or Melbourne if you wait for the afternoon specials. My sister in law in New York is obsessed with how cheaply she can eat in the local Chinese on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Unfortunately my wife and I thought it was very poor Asian food in the States and I enjoy sending her photos of meals from here with prices converted from A$, pointing out tax included and no tip required, unlike the figures she ignores because it is “Argghhh… Maths!”.

Most of the European countries you name are very insistent on tipping and you really have given no examples. Why not point us to some on-line menus, because Jordania was not referring to street food or some cucina behind Naples.

Keep in mind that unlike almost every other country, Australia has no subsidy on food.

Nothing to do with some fancied privilege and entitlement (by whom?). Simply we do not have massively state subsidised staples like the USA and the EEC. Also we do not quite go for factory farming to the extent of those two markets. You do not see animals out in open fields in the States like you do in Australia. Never saw any in California and none in the long trip from NY to Niagara.

rubaiyat said :

How do you compare the costs here to say Europe? I hope you are not comparing A$1 with €1 which is currently A$1.55.

“Europe” might share a currency, but each country appears to have entirely separate affordability.

For example, in Germany, you can get a sausage and onion in a roll, with a can of coke, for about 3 euros (so that’s under $5.) This compares very favourably with the gerneralised rip-off we have to suffer in this country.
On the other hand, cross the border into Holland and everything is instantly almost twice the price, making Holland far more similar to Australia, although the food in Australia is far, far better than in Holland.
In the UK, meat and petrol is expensive ($70 for 2 steaks and 6 ribs would be about right), but most other things are significantly cheaper than here in Australia.
Italy is cheap in the South, even cheaper than Germany. The North is slightly more expensive, a bit more like France, which is also significantly cheaper for most things than Australia is, although finding decent food in France is not the easiest task. (Apart from the cheese shops).

All in all, I don’t agree that Australia does bad food – I can’t think of anywhere in the world that consistently offers as good food as you can get in Canberra.
Australian prices, however, are utterly ludicrous, and reflect a society obsessed with handouts and compensation, all paid for by the minority of people who actually pay tax.

gazket said :

Jordania said :

The truly frightening thing about this article is not the recipe or the ingredients (chacun a son gout and all that) but the fact that the meat cost the author nearly $70must . Please feel free to suggest some decent eating places (not dives) with good food and service where I can eat and enjoy without suffering severe wallet shock when I’m finished.

Kingston Foreshores – Egg and bacon roll, 1 can of coke = $18

Egg & bacon roll and a can of soft drink for $18 ? It would have to be an amazing egg & bacon roll for that price ! You can get a meal in a pub or club for that price.

Holden Caulfield3:43 pm 29 Jan 16

gazket said :

Jordania said :

The truly frightening thing about this article is not the recipe or the ingredients (chacun a son gout and all that) but the fact that the meat cost the author nearly $70must . Please feel free to suggest some decent eating places (not dives) with good food and service where I can eat and enjoy without suffering severe wallet shock when I’m finished.

Kingston Foreshores – Egg and bacon roll, 1 can of coke = $18

You’re doing it wrong. You can get an egg’n’bacon roll and a drink for less than $10 from either 38 Espresso or Remedy.

Jordania said :

What sort of chicken would that have come from?

An unsubsidised one, that hopefully has had a decent life.

A few places you might want to try:

Bambusa, Manuka

Thai Chiang Rai, Kingston

Pod Food, Pialligo

Pho Phu Quoc, Dickson

Boffins, ANU Acton

Autolyse, Braddon

Da Rossario, City

Papa Rich, City

Rucchi, Belconnen

Turkish Delight, Belconnen

The Saffron Room, Gungahlin (NOT the Sunday buffet!)

The Green Herring, Gininderra Village, Nicholls

There are some higher priced restaurants but they may fall out of the “value for bucks” category.

Jordania said :

The truly frightening thing about this article is not the recipe or the ingredients (chacun a son gout and all that) but the fact that the meat cost the author nearly $70. I’ve been outside Australia for almost five years (living in an EU country, so cost of living not particularly cheap) and I am beyond aghast at the cost of meat here. What’s the explanation? Undersupply? Exorbitant production costs? Basic greed? The other thing that has given me a near infarction is the cost of eating in restaurants here. Asian restaurant near where I work: lemongrass chicken breast for $22! What sort of chicken would that have come from? Must be a miraculous one; even now it’s dead it’s laying golden eggs for the restaurateur. A couple of very ordinary meals in Braddon restaurants: close to $200 for two. I don’t mind paying well for really good food but I have found only one restaurant so far where the high cost was justified by the calibre of the food, cooking, presentation and service. I guess I’m so shocked by this because I’ve been away for a while and haven’t had the chance to absorb what must have been a gradual, albeit steep, rise in costs and prices. Please feel free to suggest some decent eating places (not dives) with good food and service where I can eat and enjoy without suffering severe wallet shock when I’m finished.

How much do you expect to pay and what do you expect to get?

Canberra is more expensive than most of the other large cities in Australia, but there are good places to eat now.

How do you compare the costs here to say Europe? I hope you are not comparing A$1 with €1 which is currently A$1.55.

I’ve noticed how people have very simplistic notions of real exchange rates and prices when travelling.

My wife for example favorably compared the price of fruit in the USA with Australia, ignoring:

1. The quality (awful)
2. The price was US$ and therefore 1.4x the A$
3. That the price was per pound not kilo
4. The string of taxes often charged at the checkout

Net result? The US produce was 3x as expensive as the Australian but because my wife is maths averse, like most people, she guessed and fudged to come up with a very inaccurate conclusion.

btw Something I noticed was the exorbitant price of fresh fruit compared to the much subsidised junk food in the States. You could get a cheese burger for less than a single apple in roadside “restaurants”.

Jordania said :

The truly frightening thing about this article is not the recipe or the ingredients (chacun a son gout and all that) but the fact that the meat cost the author nearly $70. .

Ok, you have to remember that the original poster did, by her own admission, buy far too many ribs. Probably enough for two person for two meals…and also some steaks for another dinner. So $70 for 2 persons for 3 dinners is a bit more reasonable.

Jordania said :

A couple of very ordinary meals in Braddon restaurants: close to $200 for two. I don’t mind paying well for really good food but I have found only one restaurant so far where the high cost was justified by the calibre of the food, cooking, presentation and service. .

I agree with your there. I am more than happy to pay $200 for a good meal with good service and ambiance…and that is without another hundred or two on wine. I have paid this in Canberra previously, but have been disappointed. For what we can get for the same price in Melbourne, Sydney or even Brisbane, there is no comparison.

I can’t afford (nor do I want) this every week, but four or five times a year, when I spend that type of money on a restaurant, I do want it to be something worthwhile..and Canberra just does not cut it.

Jordania said :

The truly frightening thing about this article is not the recipe or the ingredients (chacun a son gout and all that) but the fact that the meat cost the author nearly $70must . Please feel free to suggest some decent eating places (not dives) with good food and service where I can eat and enjoy without suffering severe wallet shock when I’m finished.

Kingston Foreshores – Egg and bacon roll, 1 can of coke = $18

Jordania said :

The truly frightening thing about this article is not the recipe or the ingredients (chacun a son gout and all that) but the fact that the meat cost the author nearly $70. I’ve been outside Australia for almost five years (living in an EU country, so cost of living not particularly cheap) and I am beyond aghast at the cost of meat here. What’s the explanation? Undersupply? Exorbitant production costs? Basic greed? The other thing that has given me a near infarction is the cost of eating in restaurants here. Asian restaurant near where I work: lemongrass chicken breast for $22! What sort of chicken would that have come from? Must be a miraculous one; even now it’s dead it’s laying golden eggs for the restaurateur. A couple of very ordinary meals in Braddon restaurants: close to $200 for two. I don’t mind paying well for really good food but I have found only one restaurant so far where the high cost was justified by the calibre of the food, cooking, presentation and service. I guess I’m so shocked by this because I’ve been away for a while and haven’t had the chance to absorb what must have been a gradual, albeit steep, rise in costs and prices. Please feel free to suggest some decent eating places (not dives) with good food and service where I can eat and enjoy without suffering severe wallet shock when I’m finished.

I read an interview with a French chef once. He said (and I’m paraphrasing) “Australia is a great place, but your restaurants aren’t good. They are expensive and the food isn’t good. But Australians deserve it because they are too afraid to complain when a meal is not up to standard. They get what they deserve”.

And he was right. I’ve lost count of the number of places I’ve had highly recommended to me that served overpriced, below standard food. And these places are popular in Canberra! I don’t quite understand it.

The truly frightening thing about this article is not the recipe or the ingredients (chacun a son gout and all that) but the fact that the meat cost the author nearly $70. I’ve been outside Australia for almost five years (living in an EU country, so cost of living not particularly cheap) and I am beyond aghast at the cost of meat here. What’s the explanation? Undersupply? Exorbitant production costs? Basic greed? The other thing that has given me a near infarction is the cost of eating in restaurants here. Asian restaurant near where I work: lemongrass chicken breast for $22! What sort of chicken would that have come from? Must be a miraculous one; even now it’s dead it’s laying golden eggs for the restaurateur. A couple of very ordinary meals in Braddon restaurants: close to $200 for two. I don’t mind paying well for really good food but I have found only one restaurant so far where the high cost was justified by the calibre of the food, cooking, presentation and service. I guess I’m so shocked by this because I’ve been away for a while and haven’t had the chance to absorb what must have been a gradual, albeit steep, rise in costs and prices. Please feel free to suggest some decent eating places (not dives) with good food and service where I can eat and enjoy without suffering severe wallet shock when I’m finished.

fabforty said :

madelini said :

John Moulis said :

I get a bit upset that whenever anybody mentions ribs they immediately think of this type of unhealthy presentation with brown sugar, tomato and barbecue sauce (which are full of sugar as well) and – God give me strength – Bourbon. Ribs don’t have to be unhealthy and fattening at all. Instead of pouring this type of junk over them, simply sprinkle ground pepper and lemon pepper seasoning on them, squeeze some lemon on them, spray canola oil on them then cook in convection oven for 25 minutes, turn them over then cook a further 15 minutes. Forget the Americans and their heart attack grills.

If the article was asking for suggestions as to the best way to cook and eat ribs, I would understand your comment more. In the first line, Sophia says “…I get the biggest craving for American style ribs”. No one is forcing you to cook or eat them in the American style, or suggesting that eating them in this way should be an every day event.

No, they are not. This is, however, a discussion forum. People can discuss things here.

Perhaps we can find a way to discuss the relentless negativity when it comes to food posts on this website.

Raging Tempest5:54 pm 26 Jan 16

I didn’t find the ribs at the place at Erindale sweet or lacking meat but to each their palate. My American friend does them with a dry rub in a slow cooker then brushes them lightly with bbq sauce and chili before serving.

madelini said :

John Moulis said :

I get a bit upset that whenever anybody mentions ribs they immediately think of this type of unhealthy presentation with brown sugar, tomato and barbecue sauce (which are full of sugar as well) and – God give me strength – Bourbon. Ribs don’t have to be unhealthy and fattening at all. Instead of pouring this type of junk over them, simply sprinkle ground pepper and lemon pepper seasoning on them, squeeze some lemon on them, spray canola oil on them then cook in convection oven for 25 minutes, turn them over then cook a further 15 minutes. Forget the Americans and their heart attack grills.

If the article was asking for suggestions as to the best way to cook and eat ribs, I would understand your comment more. In the first line, Sophia says “…I get the biggest craving for American style ribs”. No one is forcing you to cook or eat them in the American style, or suggesting that eating them in this way should be an every day event.

No, they are not. This is, however, a discussion forum. People can discuss things here.

Thanks Sophia. Will give that a whirl.

Sophia, have your tried the ribs at Smoque? Authentic American style ribs.

John Moulis said :

I get a bit upset that whenever anybody mentions ribs they immediately think of this type of unhealthy presentation with brown sugar, tomato and barbecue sauce (which are full of sugar as well) and – God give me strength – Bourbon. Ribs don’t have to be unhealthy and fattening at all. Instead of pouring this type of junk over them, simply sprinkle ground pepper and lemon pepper seasoning on them, squeeze some lemon on them, spray canola oil on them then cook in convection oven for 25 minutes, turn them over then cook a further 15 minutes. Forget the Americans and their heart attack grills.

If the article was asking for suggestions as to the best way to cook and eat ribs, I would understand your comment more. In the first line, Sophia says “…I get the biggest craving for American style ribs”. No one is forcing you to cook or eat them in the American style, or suggesting that eating them in this way should be an every day event.

You’re right John, the American stuff changes something inherently unhealthy into the opposite. They will add honey and butter too, just because it’s not sweet or fatty enough. However, notwithstanding the coronary overload and their inability to leave well-enough alone, there are good reasons behind the design of their flavourings.

In my opinion, the Australian palate is much more attuned to South East Asian flavourings, lime juice, lemongrass, birdseye chilli, palm sugar, soy, kepak manis, fish sauce, szechuan and white pepper, ginger, coriander seed and root, rice wine and vinegar, galangal, tumeric, etc.

Using the same techniques as the Americans but with the ban asian ingredients gives a wonderful but lighter outcome

Thanks John. I’ll try that.

I always feel slightly ill when I see what Americans do to some food.

For the true american style – these will benefit being cooked over charcoal. A little tip for those that don’t have access to a smoker or a weber. Get some smoking wood chips (bunnings will have some or if you are feeling adventurous, get some native wood) – soak them for about 30 minutes and put them on a square of aluminium foil – wrap it up like a little pocket, poke some holes in it with a fork at the top of the pocket then throw it in the bbq when you are pre heating. By about 15 minutes you should have some smoke. Chuck your meat on, cover and you should have that nice kiss of smoke by the time the meat has been cooked.

Another thing with ribs is they will have a membrane on the side that doesn’t have the bulk of the meat. If you leave this on you will end up with a chewy layer. Ask your butcher to take this off for you, or you can peel it off yourself prior to cutting up the ribs into serving sizes (before cooking).

Try a coffee rub next time for something a little less sweet.

I get a bit upset that whenever anybody mentions ribs they immediately think of this type of unhealthy presentation with brown sugar, tomato and barbecue sauce (which are full of sugar as well) and – God give me strength – Bourbon. Ribs don’t have to be unhealthy and fattening at all. Instead of pouring this type of junk over them, simply sprinkle ground pepper and lemon pepper seasoning on them, squeeze some lemon on them, spray canola oil on them then cook in convection oven for 25 minutes, turn them over then cook a further 15 minutes. Forget the Americans and their heart attack grills.

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