I have a little confession to make. Belying my ‘gourmet’ exterior is an ardent tomboy who loves her rugby league and, consequently, State of Origin*.
I will only explain myself so far to say that I was born into a (‘little bit country’) sports-mad family in Queensland. ‘Nuff said (except, “Go Queenslander!”).
I don’t believe my seemingly disparate passions for good food and wine and footy need to exist in isolation. In fact, each year I devise a special State of Origin menu. Hot dogs, beef burgers, sausage rolls, pies and chips are all subjected to a gourmet refurb.
For this year’s third, and deciding, game I have opted to serve up a heart-warming, chunky beef and beer pie (with ‘gourmet’ tomato sauce, obviously). The recipe is uncomplicated, comforting and very tasty. To achieve a pie filling that is rich, beautifully beefy and melt-in-the-mouth moreish, I use a combination of wagyu brisket and beef cheeks and slow cook it for a minimum of 2 hours (however, any good quality stewing beef can be substituted if that sounds a little over the top).
I also prefer to make my own tomato sauce whenever possible. It just tastes better and is perfect served alongside this beef pie. More importantly, it can be stored for a few weeks in a glass jar in the fridge and can be used as a pizza sauce, a dipping sauce for meatballs, an accompaniment to barbequed meats or simply as a dip served with corn chips or crackers. But, again, if you haven’t the time or the inclination to whip up your own, then a dollop of ‘Big Red’ out of the squeezy bottle will also do the job. Enjoy! (the pie and the game)…
*for those who don’t live here (or do, but reside under a rock), State of Origin is an annual observance of provincial pride, passion and brutality under the guise of a three-game rugby league competition between the states of Queensland and New South Wales (it means a LOT to footy fanatics in both states).