footy food

Footy fever

Okay, this is just a bit of fun. Footy is a great Melbourne institution. I’m a Bomber’s fan. Here’s a column I wrote last year.

Everyone knows that pies taste better at the footy. Warming cold hands, the filling so hot you can hardly swallow, with rich gravy that somehow manages to drip onto bare skin; it’s all part of the experience. No matter if it’s junior footy or watching the professionals. No matter what code you follow. The same goes for chips. Piping hot, salty, crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. Don’t forget the sauce.

With footy finals madness taking over, get into the swing by revisiting these old favourites. Many people follow a Grand Final day tradition and host friends and family for lunch whilst watching the game.

For the warm up, start with some spiced nuts. They’re great with a cold beer.

At half time, try my old-fashioned meat pie. It’s a simple classic, based on my mother’s recipe. Use some good quality homemade shortcrust pastry, gourmet tomato sauce and you’ll never look back. Of course, you’ll need some hot potato wedges, too. So much better than manufactured chips, use real potatoes and bake them with the skins on. If you ask me, King Edward potatoes make the best chips. Grate over some  parmesan for a cheesy hit.

At three quarter time, bring out the choc tops. An Aussie favourite, they’re surprisingly easy to make. For a bit of fun, decorate them with your team colours.

Now you’re set for the big event. Hope your team wins.

Footy nuts


There’s always some nut at the footy! Embrace this and make your own. You get a delicious mix of hot, sweet and salty, all together. I’ve used hazelnut oil, but you could substitute another type of nut oil or simply use vegetable oil.

500g mixed nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, pistachios, macadamias, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc)

2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

¼ (quarter) tsp cayenne

3 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp sea salt plus extra to sprinkle

4 tbsp hazelnut oil

Preheat oven to 200C.

In a large bowl, mix the nuts and seeds. Add the rosemary, cayenne, sugar and salt. Mix well.

Drizzle over the oil and toss to lightly coat.

Spread on a baking paper lined tray and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, give the nuts a stir and continue to bake for a further 10 minutes, until the nuts are golden.

Remove and allow to cool. Sprinkle with extra salt if desired.

old fashioned meat pie


This is a real meat pie. Use cheaper cuts of meat, such as oyster blade or skirt, to provide loads of flavour and benefit from slow cooking. I have used ready made pastry here, but it would be delicious with homemade shortcrust. Individual aluminium pie tins are readily available at the supermarket, or make one large family pie for dinner.

1 brown onion

1 carrot

1 stick celery

4 tbsp olive oil

750g oyster blade steak (or skirt steak)

4 tbsp plain flour

2 cups veal stock (or water)

salt and pepper to season

8 sheets ready rolled shortcrust pastry (or homemade)

1 egg, beaten for pastry glaze

tomato sauce to serve

Roughly chop onion, carrot and celery, then put into a food processor and finely chop.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy based pot and fry the vegetables for 5 minutes until softened. Remove and set aside.

Cut the meat into 2 cm cubes and toss in flour to coat. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the same pot and brown the meat in two batches. Pour in one cup of stock to deglaze the pot and scrape off any bits sticking to the bottom. Return the vegetables to the pot, add enough stock to just cover the meat, bring to the boil, cover with a lid then reduce heat and cook for 1 ½ hours. Stir from time to time to make sure the meat doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Add salt and pepper to season and set aside to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 220C.

Use a side plate as a guide to cut 6 x 16 cm diameter circles in the pastry. Cut 6 x 11 cm diameter circles as pastry lids.

Gently place the larger pastry in the bottom of 6 aluminium pie tins. Trim any excess.

Place cooled meat filling in the pie. Before placing on the pastry lid, brush around the edges of the pie with the beaten egg to create a seal. Press down the lid firmly at the edges and cut a small vent in the centre. Brush the top of the pastry with more egg glaze.

Place pies on a baking tray in oven and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 180C and cook for a further 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve with tomato sauce.

makes 6.

Cheesy, salt and pepper potato wedges


You don’t need to wait for the footy to enjoy these. Look out for King Edward potatoes, or use a firm waxy potato that will hold its shape. Blended peppercorns are readily available from the supermarket.

8 King Edward potatoes

2 tbsp sea salt flakes

1 tbsp ground blended peppercorns

2 -3 tbsp olive oil

40g finely grated parmesan cheese

1-2 tbsp chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 220C.

Scrub the potatoes well, leaving the skins on. Cut in half, then cut each half into 4 wedges. Place in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. When boiling, remove from heat and drain in a colander. Place the warm potatoes in a large bowl and add salt, pepper, oil and parmesan. Toss to coat well.

Place in a single layer on a baking tray lined with non stick paper.

Cook in oven for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown and crunchy.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Serves 6.

Footy colours choc tops

In Australia, we all love a choc-topped ice cream. Have a go and make your own. They’re really easy. If you’re hosting a footy party, decorate with your team colours.

1 lt vanilla ice cream

1 pk ice cream cones

200g cooking chocolate (white, milk or dark)

ready made icing tubes (in your team colours)

Melt the chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave or over a pot of simmering water. Remove from heat and allow to cool a little.

Scoop the ice cream into the cone and press down firmly. Return to freezer for a few minutes (or longer) to harden.

Turn the ice cream upside down and dip into the chocolate to coat. Place upright into a holder or stand carefully on the bench. The chocolate will harden and set.

Use the ready made icing tubes to decorate in your team colours.

makes approximately 12.

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2 Responses

  1. Hey Caroline, lovin the blog, perfect Melbourne post for footy season.
    I’m going to try your egg poaching instructions, we were out for breakfast on the weekend, getting poached eggs, only to comment that we had to learn how to do this ourself.
    Cheers
    Maikka

    • Hey Maikka
      Thanks for the kind words. Definitely try the eggs -it’s so easy.
      regards
      C.

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