The footy finals – tribalism at its best and happiest – the perfect opportunity for the kind of eats that elicit similar fandom and ludicrous joy. To that end I've kept these snacks simple and efficient, borrowing from the bar and the street to ensure you spend your time enjoying the game rather than cooking. These recipes serve 10 as part of a shared table.
The reuben pull-apart
The sandwich's answer to chicken soup, there is nothing more soul-satisfying than a well-made reuben. This version includes all the trimmings without the sandwich building labour, making it perfect for feeding a crowd.
1 large focaccia loaf (or loaf of your choosing, although longer, flatter-style breads work best)
butter for spreading (optional)
350g sliced brisket pastrami
½ cup sliced pickles (I used McClure's Sweet & Spicy pickles)
¾ cup sauerkraut
125g swiss cheese, thinly sliced
½ red onion, grated
2 tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp brown sugar
¾ cup Kewpie mayo
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
To make the Russian mayo, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Slice the loaf most of the way through, both lengthways and across the loaf to create a crosshatch pattern. Butter the inside of the loaf (if using), then fill the sliced sections generously with the brisket, pickles, sauerkraut and cheese – rather than try to fit all fillings in every crevice, alternate the fillings across the incisions.
Place the pull-apart on the lined tray and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the tray, then bake for a further 5 minutes until the top is crisp and the cheese has melted.
Drizzle over the Russian mayo to taste, and serve immediately.
Bloody mary sausage rolls with vodka-spiked relish. Photo: Katrina Meynink
Bloody mary sausage rolls
Use a thick tomato relish/jam for the dipping sauce as once the vodka is added it can thin out considerably. Baking the sausage rolls on a wire rack covered with a sheet of pierced baking paper allows the fat to drip away. The sausage rolls can be made ahead, cut into portions and frozen until ready to use.
1 x 330g sheet Careme puff pastry, defrosted in the fridge
½ cup smoked sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp grated horseradish
1 tsp smoked paprika
500g beef mince
1 red onion, peeled and grated
1½ tsp ground celery seeds
2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Sausage roll glaze and seasoning
2 tbsp milk whisked with 1 egg yolk
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground celery seeds
salt and pepper
2 tbsp vodka
¾ cup thick tomato relish
Preheat oven to 200C, line a wire cake-cooling rack with baking paper and pierce it in 4 or 5 places. Sit the rack over a roasting tray.
Roll the pastry out to a 30cm x 45cm rectangle, then refrigerate briefly to firm up while you make the filling.
Add the filling ingredients to a bowl and use your hands to massage and incorporate the seasonings thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Cut the pastry in half lengthwise into two 45cm x 15cm rectangles. Working with one piece at a time (refrigerate the other), with longest edge nearest you, shape half of the filling into an even log near the edge of the pastry. Brush edge of pastry with eggwash and roll away from you to enclose and seal. Repeat with remaining pastry and filling.
Generously brush all over with the egg wash. Combine the paprika, ground celery seeds, salt and pepper in a bowl and sprinkle over the sausage rolls.
Cut the logs into desired lengths and place on the lined wire rack. Bake in the oven until crisp and golden (about 20 to 25 minutes). While the sausage rolls are cooking, combine the vodka and tomato relish in a small bowl.
Makes 6 large or 18 small sausage rolls
Chips loaded with garlicky lamb, tomatoes, oregano and whipped feta. Photo: Katrina Meynink
This has all the right elements of the ubiquitous street food – losing the slightly oily texture, leaking meat juices and the salty chalk of feta. Basically, it's all the good souva stuff, sans a bit of the carbs, because let's face it, unless you get spectacular fresh pita, it's just not worth the inclusion.
750g starchy potatoes (such as segabo), cleaned, cut into 5mm wide shoestrings
2½ tbsp tapioca starch
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tsp dried oregano
500g lamb mince
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1½ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed garlic
zest of 1 lemon
½ tbsp olive oil
¾ cup Greek yoghurt
½ cup Persian-style feta
½ small Lebanese cucumber, finely diced
½ cup semi-dried tomatoes
½ red onion, peeled, finely sliced
2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
¼ cup basil leaves, coarsely torn
Preheat the oven to 200C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Arrange the chopped potatoes in a single layer on prepared trays. Sprinkle with tapioca starch and dried oregano, drizzle the olive oil and toss to coat. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and crisp.
Meanwhile, combine the mince, onion, pomegranate molasses, oregano, garlic and lemon zest in a bowl. Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. When hot, add the mince mixture and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until cooked through and caramelised.
For the whipped feta, add the yoghurt and feta to a bowl. Use a fork to whip the mixture, then add the cucumber (depending on the thickness of the yoghurt, this may make more than you need).
To serve, dollop hummus over the base of a large serving bowl. Scatter with semi-dried tomatoes then add the fries. Spoon over the mince mixture then top with the whipped feta, sliced onion and fresh herbs.
Spicy chicken skewers with jalapeno jam and charred corn kernels. Photo: Katrina Meynink
Chipotle caramelised chicken with jalapeno jam, corn and manchego
You will need 10 skewers for this recipe. If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water first.
1kg chicken thighs, trimmed, cut into 3cm strips
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp ground chipotle
1 tsp yellow mustard powder
1 tsp freshly grated garlic
salt and pepper, to season
Jalapeno jam (makes about 3 cups)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 green capsicums, deseeded, diced
2 red onions, peeled, roughly chopped
5 fresh jalapeno chillies (about 150g), sliced (de-seed if you prefer a milder relish)
1 cup castor sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper, to season
3 cobs corn
150g manchego, grated
¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped
¼ cup mint leaves, chopped
flat breads (optional)
Combine all the chicken ingredients in a bowl, and using your hands, massage to coat the chicken thoroughly in the mixture. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
For the jalapeno jam, add the olive oil to a large saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Once warm, add the capsicum, onion and jalapeno and cook, stirring often, for 20 minutes or until soft. Add the sugar and apple cider vinegar and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to a jammy, syrup-like consistency. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Remove from heat and allow to cool before adding to a blender and pulsing briefly until a relish consistency. Reserve ¾ cup for use, then scoop the remaining relish into jars and seal tightly (jalapeno jam will keep for up to one month in a jar in the fridge).
Heat a griddle pan or char-grill pan and grill the corn until charred all over (about 12 minutes). Using a sharp knife, slice the kernels off the cob straight into a bowl. Allow to cool then add the grated manchego cheese and chopped coriander and set aside until ready to serve.
Preheat the oven to 220C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, in batches, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes each side – you want it to caramelise and char. Remove from heat and as soon as the chicken is cool enough to handle, pierce the meat onto the skewers.
Place the skewers on the prepared tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through. While it seems fiddly, this step ensures your chicken is caramelised and evenly cooked.
Remove chicken from the oven, place skewers on a large serving platter, scatter over the corn and herb mixture and generously dollop with jalapeno jam. Serve with warm flatbreads, if using.