Kangaroo pies are a knockout
THERE was plenty going on at last weekend’s massive Koori rugby league Knockout in Dubbo, but while much of the focus was on the amazing and intuitive footy being played, there were plenty of things happening beneath the surface.
Many people attending the Knockout told Dubbo Photo News they felt this gathering of so many Aboriginal people from across NSW was as close as they could get to a modern-day version of a traditional Corroboree, a gathering of many groups from different nations to celebrate culture and extended family.
Keeping many of the visitors fed was “Meat Brothers” founder Corey Grech, who scored plenty of admirers with his Chilli Kangaroo pies.
A Gamileroi man from Coonabarabran, Corey is now based at Toukley on the NSW central coast.
“In 2008 my sister (Suz) opened up an Indigenous café at Redfern, called Purple Goanna, and I pretty much got roped in to being the cook and barista and found it was something that I loved doing,” Mr Grech said.
“I’ve moved on over the last 10 or so years and things have progressed from making sausages to pies.
“The pies seem to be a simple fit for trying to get people to eat kangaroo. We’ve found it hard over the years to consume kangaroo – it’s on the national emblem, it’s Skippy, you’ve heard it all, but if it’s in a pie people will eat it,” he told
The humble Aussie meat pie has been a mainstream tradition for decades, and Mr Grech’s many customers like the Indigenous slant on the standard recipe and believe there’s something special about that.
“Yeah, that happens with most of the food we end up doing. At the café we used to do a kangaroo lasagne – we have a Maltese background as well,” Mr Grech explained.
“We knocked about a bit over the years and now we’ve come to the point where we’ve concentrated that in a pie.”
He says the carnival is a chance for his business to contribute and give something back.
“The Knockout is something that we try to do every year. It’s not easy and if we weren’t here with a food stall I’d be playing, which is probably the main reason why I do have a food stall, there’s been some good footy and some hard hits,” Mr Grech said.
“To have everybody in one place at one time, we normally sell our pies for $6.50, but we sell them for $5 here because the community give-back at $1.50 a pie is nothing, it eats into our profits but it’s worth it to give everybody a quality product, something decent to eat and not too expensive.
“It’s the closest thing we’ve got to a Corroboree, a gathering of family and friends,” he said.
Corey Grech selling his Chilli Kangaroo pies at last weekend’s Koori Knockout. Mr Grech said the long weekend footy carnival is a modern-day Corroboree. PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS