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How to Host a No-Fuss Grand Final Party
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How to Host a No-Fuss Grand Final Party

The last weekend of September is going to be a huge one for footy fans, with the AFL and NRL Grand Finals falling on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Regardless of which code you follow, it’s a great chance to get some mates around for the big game. We’ve got some ideas for low-maintenance food that you can cook for a crowd, as well as drinks to match. The best thing about these dishes? They won’t keep you tied up in the kitchen – so you won’t miss a second of the match.

Pan Pizza Cob

This one is sure to be a fan favourite. It’s all the flavour of pizza, without any of the fuss of sticky dough. Simply serve and pull-apart, it’s as easy as that.

Serves: 8
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 red capsicum, deseeded, coarsely chopped
1 wholemeal cob loaf
1 tub chunky roasted capsicum dip
10 twiggy sticks, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pitted Sicilian olives, halved
1 1/2 cups grated pizza cheese
Fresh oregano, to serve
Basil leaves, to serve

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 200C. Place an ovenproof frying pan in the oven to heat. Spray another frying pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the onion and capsicum and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until softened. Set aside to cool.
2. Use a sharp bread knife to deeply score the bread, making cuts about 3-4cm apart in a cross-hatch pattern (don’t cut all the way through the bread). Spread the cut surfaces with the dip.
3. Stuff the onion mixture, twiggy sticks, olives and cheese between the bread cuts. Carefully transfer cob to the preheated frying pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bread is crisp. Serve sprinkled with oregano and basil.

To drink:
We think that an Italian-inspired dish should always be served with a great red. Try a glass (or two) of Jacob’s Creek Reserve Shiraz or Wolf Blass Red Label Shiraz Cabernet.

One-Pan Taco Pull-Apart

This dish is basically nachos, but fancier. It’s everything you already know and love, just dressed up a little.

Serves: 6
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
350g beef mince
1/4 cup tomato paste
125g can black beans, drained, rinsed
1 fresh jalapeño chilli, finely chopped, plus extra, sliced, to serve
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves, plus extra sprigs to serve
450g packet jumbo tortillas
1 1/2 cups sour cream, plus 1/4 cup extra, to serve
2 1/2 cups grated tasty cheese
3/4 cup medium chunky salsa
1/2 x 285g jar piquillo peppers, chopped
125g cherry tomatoes, quartered

Method:
1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, cumin, paprika and oregano. Cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add mince. Cook, breaking up mince with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes or until browned all over.
2. Add tomato paste and 1/4 cup water. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Stir in chilli and coriander. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool.
3. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Wipe frying pan clean. Drizzle with remaining oil.
4. Combine salsa and peppers in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into centre of frying pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until tortillas are golden and cheese is melted. Stand for 5 minutes.
5. Place 1 tortilla on a board. Spread with 1/4 cup sour cream. Top with 1/3 cup mince mixture and sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. Roll up tortilla tightly. Trim and discard ends. Cut into 4 equal lengths. Arrange rolls, upright, around edge of pan, sitting snugly. Repeat with remaining tortillas, sour cream, mince mixture and cheese, to create 2 rings, leaving a hole in the centre. Sprinkle tortillas with remaining cheese.

To Drink:
Pair this dish with a Whisky Ginger. Mix 1 part Teacher’s Scotch Whisky with 4 parts ginger ale in a tall glass over ice. The ginger will also take some of the edge of the heat from the jalapeños.

Sausage Rolls

It’d be heretical to watch a Grand Final without a sausage roll. For this occasion, we’re giving the staple a new lease on life with a mixture of barbecue sauce and Japanese Kewpie mayo.

Makes: 18
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:
400g sausage mince
300g beef mince
1 brown onion, coarsely grated
1 carrot, peeled, coarsely grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
35g (1/2 cup) fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh continental parsley
2 eggs
3 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed but still cold
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
Fresh coriander sprigs, to serve
Kewpie mayonnaise, to serve
Barbecue sauce, to serve

Method:
1. Combine the sausage and beef mince, onion, carrot, garlic, breadcrumbs, parsley and 1 egg in a bowl. Season. Mix until well combined (the mixture will be sticky).
2. Preheat oven to 200C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Lightly whisk the remaining egg in a bowl.
3. Cut the pastry sheets in half. Place one-sixth of the mince mixture along centre of each piece of pastry. Brush 1 long edge with egg. Fold pastry over to enclose the filling, pressing to seal. Cut each roll into thirds. Place the sausage rolls, seam side down, on the prepared trays. Brush the pastry with egg. Use a small sharp knife to pierce the tops a few times to allow steam to escape. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 35 minutes or until cooked and golden.
4. Drizzle the sausage rolls with mayonnaise and then barbecue sauce. Scatter with coriander sprigs to serve.

To drink:
You can’t go wrong with sausage rolls and beer. We’d recommend a light, fruity brew – either Vale’s Bright Ale or James Squire’s 150 Lashes Pale Ale.