Hearty meal is a winner
IT’S taken 10 episodes and several snacks, sweets and savouries for Recipe To Riches to finally serve up a hearty meal, and the winning cook says it’s a blessing.
Sydneysider Susie Barnes won the ‘‘Classics’’ section of the Network Ten amateur cooking show with her traditional oxtail stew. It’s basically the first ready-toeat meal to win the series.
The closest previous episode winners have come to offering a meal are Chilli Con Carne, which included a bag of corn chips, and the Golden Greek Pizza Kit which was a frozen dough base.
Barnes’ dish, which was handed down by her late mother Margie, has been marketed as Butcher’s Secret Oxtail Stew and is on sale in the freezer section at Woolworths stores.
‘‘It’s all done . . . I think I have a huge advantage because it is an already prepared meal,’’ she says.
‘‘All anyone has to do, if they want, is add vegetables and potatoes. It’s versatile because you can take the meat off the bone and use the sauce for spaghetti.’’
Barnes says the recipe dates back to the 1950s, if not earlier, and was created in an era where waste was not tolerated and families made do with whatever resources they had.
She says she has made a few changes to her mother’s original recipe, swapping the beef stock for red wine and adding more orange rind, and it’s a favourite with her three sons. ‘‘I doctored it up over the years,’’ Barnes says. ‘‘It would have originated in the ‘50s and it’s probably something she had as a child, too, because it was a cheap cut of meat.’’
Each contestant on Recipe To Riches has to be able to upsize their winning recipe from a dinner party delicacy to create 200 meals. That proved more challenging for Barnes and she almost didn’t make it through after miscalculating her measurements.
‘‘My recipe was for 10 and I had to do it for 200 people and instead of multiplying it by 20 I multiplied by 10, so I was way out initially,’’ she says.
‘‘My children were appalled . . . I had to do 80kg of oxtail and weigh herbs which I had never done before.’’
Barnes collected $10,000 for winning the episode and she now has a chance to pocket $100,000 and a food production partnership with Woolworths if she wins the series.
There is just one more episode of Recipe To Riches and then the winner will be determined by who sold the most products at Woolworths supermarkets in the first four days after the show.
weekly winner, Sydney jewellery designer Susie Barnes
Recipe To Riches: Tuesdays, 7.30pm, Ten, Ten SC
– DARREN CARTWRIGHT
Recipe to Riches