Matt comes clean on his bogan ways.
Food snobs of the world pay heed. It’s time to put down your truffle grater and cast pretension aside – Matt Preston is here to give thanks to the ‘common as muck’ foods you secretly crave.
BOGANS AND VEGANS – just two letters separate them, but their approaches to food lie at very different ends of the culinary scale. You’ll find my writings on veganism at delicious.com.au, should you have difficulty sleeping. Here, however, let us contemplate bogan food, a worrying amount of which I cherish, starting with:
MACARONI CHEESE AND TOMATO KETCHUP – don’t knock it till you try it, for ketchup’s cold, sharp sweetness against the rich creaminess of hot mac ‘n’ cheese is a joy. It might be even better with ETA BBQ sauce.
NACHOS – if you ever doubted that nachos are more than just a way to quieten the kids while you place your bets at the pub TAB, then delve into the pleasure of ‘nachos nine ways’ by searching for ‘Matt Preston nachos’ on the internet.
DORITOS AS SEASONING – forget salt, I prefer to season my Mexican with ground-up Double Cheese Doritos. Yes, that might make me common as muck, but it’s no worse than grinding Burger Rings to make a ‘dust’ for steak, or crushing Cheetos to make a mac ‘n’ cheese crumb, like they do at my local hipster barbecue joint.
DUDE FOOD – burgers, steaks, smoked stuff, fried stuff with barbecue sauce and mayo; what is ‘dude food’ if not an excuse for us to eat bogan food, but sold to us as ‘Southern cooking’?
RISSOLES – absent since The Castle, but making a triumphant return in my new cookbook (and a relative to the meatloaf recipe here from my The Simple Secrets to Cooking Everything Better). LOADED FRIES – when Maccas advertises loaded fries, you know the flannel set have embraced them in a way they never embraced Canadian poutine. More confounding, however, is how you’ll also find ingredient-adorned fries popping up in cool places. Didn’t foodie icon Nigella describe the feta-loaded variety at Gazi in Melbourne as the best thing she ate last year?
Of course, there are more. Cruise the site thingsboganslike.com and you’ll find Mexican beer, Curtis Stone, Nutri-Grain (Iron Man food), RTD cans (aka UDLs), locally produced foreign-label beer,
MasterChef and Boost Juice all featured alongside classically bogan pastimes such as making homebrew and walking between train carriages. There is only one of these things I don’t like*. So, pass the Bintang singlet – it looks like there’s no escaping my true bogan self. (*For the record, it isn’t Curtis, who is a prince among men. I hate RTDs; give me the bottle and the mixers any day!) Head to delicious.com.au for more bogan greats Matt loves.
MR KRANSKY’S PANEL VAN MEATLOAF SERVES 6
500g each beef and pork mince 1 tbs smoked paprika (pimenton) 3 leeks, trimmed 1 tbs olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 125g streaky bacon, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/ 2 cup (125ml) muscat (substitute sweet sherry) 1 cup (70g) fresh sourdough breadcrumbs 1 egg 200g mature cheddar, coarsely grated
200g tomato sauce 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce 2 tbs smoked paprika (pimenton)
1/4 cup firmly packed (60g) dark-brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with foil, then baking paper. Grease the long edges of an 11.5cm x 31cm (top measurement), 2L (8-cup) loaf pan and line with baking paper, leaving a little overhanging the edges.
Place beef mince, pork mince and paprika in a bowl and combine well using your hands. Set aside.
Place leeks on a microwave-safe plate and microwvae on high for 4 minutes or until softened, then stand for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, peel and discard 2 outer layers, then trim to fit lengthways in prepared loaf pan.
Heat oil in a frypan, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add bacon and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until bacon is golden. Add muscat and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until reduced and syrupy. Remove from heat and stand for 5 minutes or until cooled slightly.
Add muscat mixture, breadcrumbs, egg and cheese to mince mixture and combine well using your hands. Season well.
Using wet hands, press half the meatloaf mixture into the base of the prepared loaf pan, top with leeks, then top with remaining meatloaf mixture, pressing down firmly. Bake for 30 minutes, then carefully turn partially cooked meatloaf out onto the prepared tray.
Meanwhile, for the glaze, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until heated through. Remove from heat and set aside.
Pour the glaze over meatloaf, brushing evenly over top and sides. Bake glazed meatloaf for 50- 60 minutes or until cooked through. Remove meatloaf from oven and stand for 10 minutes to cool slightly, then thickly slice and brush with any glaze remaining in pan before serving.