It’s an age-old stereotype -- your typical Aussie guy flipping patties on the barbecue, stubby in hand, daggy apron and all.
While some might cringe at the image (and who could blame them) the relationship between Aussie blokes and food can’t be denied. It is a simple but sacred one, built on taste, quantity, quality of ingredients and how easy it is to bang out on a Sunday night.
In celebration of this culinary bromance, six of Australia’s favourite male personalities have shared their greatest ‘Dude Food’ recipes. In other words, their go-to dishes when it’s their turn to cook.
From the simplest of toasties to the fanciest footy pie you’ll come across (you have to make your own pastry, but apparently it’s worth it), these Aussie blokes have you covered.
Merrick Watt’s Ultimate Schnitzel
“I know that everyone has the ‘Ultimate Schnitzel’ recipe and at the end of the day we are talking about putting bread crumbs on a dead chook, it’s not exactly science. Except this recipe, which is pure science.”
“Years ago I was 25 and living in a rental apartment close to a local Greek deli in Newtown. One Saturday I dragged myself from my regular weekend hangover to go to the deli for provisions: salami, chinotto, cheese, ham, olives -- basically anything with a high salt, sugar or fat content. I decided what this big Aussie needed was a classic schnitzel and as I was buying the chicken from the old lady at the deli, I asked “How do you crumb the chicken?” and before an actual word had passed my lips she said “You’re doing it wrong!”
"The following is the recipe and method she gave me. For the past 16 years I have impressed everyone from celebrity chefs to irate children. Enjoy…the best schnitzel ever."
- Chicken breast
- 1 egg
- White pepper
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- ½ cup flour
- Parmesan (reggiano, fresh)
- Butter (salted)
- Olive oil
- Slice chicken into two pieces by running a sharp knife through the centre under the palm of your hand. Be careful. (Kids like strips or nuggets. So do adults.)
- Place bread crumbs AND flour into same bowl (this is part of the secret). Add to this one cup of finely shaved (micro planed) parmesan. A pinch of pepper, paprika and freshly ground nutmeg (micro planed).
- Beat egg in separate bowl.
- Dip chicken in to egg and then into the bread crumb mix coating thoroughly. Place to one side.
- Heat a frying pan until it is hot but not insane.
- Add a good lick of oil, when it is hot and just about to smoke add a good knob (funny word) of butter.
- As soon as it has melted, place the chicken in the pan. You may need to lower the heat slightly. Cook till golden and turn over. Take the chicken out and put it onto wife’s dry cleaning, if that’s not available then paper towel will do fine.
"This chicken is sweet and salty and buttery and most importantly, moist. I believe it is the cheese and the flour with the bread crumbs that makes the crust stick nicely to the chicken therefore holding moisture inside and not having any bits fall off."
"To drink; I recommend ANYTHING coz this baby works with the lot.
Merrick Watts is an Australian comedian, radio host and television presenter, currently driving you home weekdays on Triple M.
Scott Cam’s Corned Beef (and The Boss’s White Sauce)
“Mum’s corned beef was my favourite meal growing up, so that is the reason this recipe is my ‘go to’ meal now. I still love it and so does my family.”
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 12 whole black peppercorns
- 2 whole peeled onions
- 4 carrots, peeled and halved
- Using one of those pots that has a handle on each side and a lid, drop in the corned beef and top up with cold water, making sure all the meat is covered.
- Add the vinegar, black peppercorns, onions and carrot.
- Bring pot up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Put the lid on and have a few cans while she cooks. (Remember when the butcher gave you the weight of the meat? Well, for every 500 g or 1 lb, 2 oz of meat, cook for 40 minutes.) Leave the meat in the water until you’re ready to serve.
- Add some mash and string beans to the party, but the most important thing is to pour white sauce over everything (see the Boss’s recipe below) then sprinkle over salt and cracked black pepper.
The Boss’s White Sauce
"We’re a big family, so the Boss makes two cups of sauce."
- 60 g butter
- ½ cup flour
- 2 ¾ cup milk
- In a saucepan over a low heat, melt the butter.
- Remove from the heat and add the same amount of flour, stirring until the mixture is smooth.
- Now gradually stir in ¼ cup of milk. Stir in until it’s nice and smooth.
- Return the sauce to the heat, constantly stirring. As it thickens up, add the remaining 2 ½ cups of milk until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Simmer for about 10 minutes and season to taste.
Scott Cam is an Australian television personality and host of Nine Network’s renovation reality show The Block.
Robbie Farrah’s One Tray Salmon
“This is my go-to meal because seafood is always a winner. This recipe is easy and it tastes good.”
- Cherry tomatoes
- Basil leaves
- 2 salmon fillets
- 6 large king prawns (shell on)
- 2 slices pancetta
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- In a baking tray, put chopped garlic and chilli, four anchovies, oil, basil, halved cherry tomatoes, asparagus, basil and lemon cut in half.
- Kind of mix them together and spread out evenly along the base of the tray.
- Place salmon on top, skin side up, as well as prawns and pancetta.
- Place in oven for 10-15 minutes and finish off under the grill so pancetta and salmon skin goes crispy. Then it’s ready to serve.
- Squeeze the cooked lemon juice over as well.
Robert Peter "Robbie" Farah is a professional NRL player and captain of the Wests Tigers.
Les Hill’s Lazy Lamb Shanks
"My easy go-to dish (especially for winter!) is lamb shanks. Never fails to impress, and you don’t have to be there while it’s cooking.”
- Lamb shanks
- Fresh rosemary
- Red wine (lots)
- Olive oil
- Dice the onion, garlic, celery and carrot.
- Chuck them in a pan with a dash of olive oil over a medium to high heat to sweat them off.
- Take them off the heat and put the shanks in the pan with another dash of oil to brown the outsides.
- Throw the veggies and shanks in the slow cooker with some fresh rosemary.
- Add a bottle of red (less a glass for yourself) and some water to cover. Season with salt and pepper and come back in six hours!
- Mash your spuds, reduce the liquid for your sauce, and find some more red wine. Job done!
Les Hill is an Australian actor and avid supporter of the Sydney Roosters rugby league team.
Jules Lund’s Sweet Chilli Chicken Toasted Sandwich
“Prepare to be dazzled with an entire food pyramid in one delicious package. Behold the Sweet Chili Chicken Toasted Sandwich. Don't be deceived by its humble appearance. This 'Uni Drop-Out' staple is pimped with basil, Swiss cheese and tomatoes that are pre-sliced down the skin so you don't pull it all out in one bite and scold your chin! It's my go-to. Because it's all I can make.”
- 2 slices of multi grain bread
- 2 slices of swiss cheese
- 1 tomato
- Fresh basil leaves
- 100g of lightly grilled chicken
- Sweet chilli sauce
- Salt and pepper
- Put everything between the two slices of bread.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Pop in your jaffle maker (ideally a flat one, not triangular), toast until the bread is golden brown, the cheese looks gooey and your kitchen smells great.
Jules Lund is an Australian television and radio presenter, currently co-hosting The Scoopla Show 6-7pm on Today’s Hit Network.
Curtis Stone’s (Fancy) Footy Pies
“’Hot pies, cold drinks, get your hot pies, cold drinks here...’ When I think of meat pies, I always think of being at an AFL footy game in my hometown of Melbourne, where meat pies are a signature snack of the game. I’m sharing my recipe for the ultimate homemade version so you can bring a little Aussie footy spirit into your home. A super-buttery pastry dough is filled with seasoned finely chopped or ground meat and minced vegetables. Serve the pies with a simple green salad or with tomato sauce."
“It is not a quick and short recipe, but it’s not that difficult and definitely wintery man food!”
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 small carrot, finely chopped
- 60g prosciutto di Parma (about 5 slices), finely chopped
- 875g beef mince
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 90g chicken livers (about three), rinsed, cleaned, and finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
- 3 cups salt reduced beef stock
To assemble the pies:
- Pastry (recipe below) shaped into 12 discs and chilled
- Plain flour (to dust the pastry)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon cream
- Heat a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then add the onion, celery and carrot and sauté for about five minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but not browned. Add the prosciutto and sauté for two minutes.
- Crumble the beef into the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the beef, for about five minutes, or until the meat is just cooked and no longer pink. Add the chicken livers and cook for about two minutes, or until the livers are just cooked and no longer pink. Add the tomato paste and allspice and cook, stirring, for about two minutes, or until the tomato paste is well blended.
- Stir in the wine and cook for about two minutes, or until it evaporates completely. Reduce the heat to medium, add the milk and cook, stirring occasionally, for about two minutes, or until the milk has reduced by three-quarters and the sauce is thick and creamy. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and cook for about one minute, stirring constantly, or until well blended.
- Add the stock, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened and reduced by one-quarter. Season with salt and pepper. Set the mixture aside to cool. (You should have about 4 1/2 cups filling.)
To assemble and bake the pies:
- To assemble and bake the pies, position a rack on the lowest rung of the oven and set a baking tray on the rack. Preheat the oven to 200°C. (Being close to the source of heat will help the bottom crusts bake and brown properly.)
- On a floured work surface, roll out one disc of dough to a 15cm round about 2.5mm thick.
- Line a 12cm disposable aluminum pie pan with the dough. Repeat with five more dough balls and pie pans. Divide the filling among the pans, using about 3/4 cup filling per pie.
- Roll out the remaining six dough pieces to 15cm rounds and lay them over the filling. Trim the dough overhang to 1cm. Pinch the bottom and top crusts together to seal, and fold them under. Crimp the edges. Using your finger, make a hole in the centre of each top crust.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg and cream to blend. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the pies with the egg-cream mixture.
- Place the pies on the preheated baking tray in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the crust is deep golden and the filling is bubbling. If the crust begins to brown before the filling bubbles, tent the pies with foil. Let the pies cool on a wire rack until warm before serving.
Buttery Pastry Dough*
"The secret to homemade pastry dough is to avoid blitzing your butter to smithereens in the food processor. Leaving pea-size pieces of butter in the dough is key, because they will melt in the oven and release water, which will become steam. The steam helps to puff up the dough and contributes to that melt-in-your-mouth texture. The dough can be made up to a day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Alternatively, it can be frozen for up to one month."
- 2 1/2 cups plain flour
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
- 250g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes
- About 1/3 cup ice water
- In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt and pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse about 10 times, or until the butter is in pea-size pieces; do not over-process.
- While pulsing the processor, add 1⁄3 cup of the ice water, then pulse just until moist clumps of dough form, adding more water 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary.
- Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide it in half.
- Divide each piece of dough into six pieces and shape into discs. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
Curtis Stone is an Australian television personality and chef.
* We did ask if puff pastry from the supermarket would suffice, but no can do. Apparently it’s worth the extra effort though – good luck!