G’day cobba. Picture the following.
A farmer strides across the paddock, his leather boots kicking up plumes of dust which catch the low, golden sunlight. He lifts his akubra and swats away a swarm of flies, meanwhile wiping the sweat from his forehead with the sleeve of his flannelette shirt. This is his land, just as it was his father’s before him, and his father’s father’s before that. Good land, productive land, he thinks, as he approaches his ute, rusted and parked with the tyres at an angle.
He crosses the paddock. Dry, whispy grass gently scrapes the chassis. The lights beam out over the land, darker now in the fading light. He stops by the fence, jerks the handbrake up, leaves the car running, and swings the fence out in a wide arc to jam into a well-formed rut. He eases onto the bitumen, gains pace – wheels singing, sprinklers chittering on the front lawns, the smell of bore water through the open window.
PICTURE CREDIT (FIRST IMAGE): webntime/Getty Images
A few minutes later he pulls up by the curb of the main drag, moths going ballistic at the flickering illuminated sign reading ‘Ned’s Tucker’. In through the screen door with its squeaky hinges, and there’s Ned, greasy apron in a big loop knot at the front, muscular hands on the counter.
“G’day Ned,” he says, to which Ned replies, familiarly, “What’ll it be?”
“Hmmm,” he says, as if there’s any doubt. “Mate, I reckon I’ll grab the bagel with the caviar cream cheese, and a side of vol-au-vents.”
Of course, you and I know he didn’t order that. He ordered a steak sanga.
800g of sizzle steaks
A crusty sourdough loaf
1 x can of pineapple rings
1 x can of beetroot slices
2 x brown onions
1 x lemon
Salt and pepper
Firstly, cut the lemon and squeeze it into a bowl, removing any errant seeds from the liquid. Next, scoop in a dollop of minced garlic, squirt in a liberal dash of olive oil, and sprinkle the paprika, salt and pepper to your heart’s content. If you’re a little out there, consider finely grating the lemon rind and adding this to your concoction (just make sure you don’t include the bitter white pith).
Once you’ve stirred this all together, rub the mixture over the steak, in the sort of matey but not too hands-on manner you’d spread sunscreen over a friend’s back. Get your cooking surface blazing (any surface of your choice, from a pan on the two-burner to the 4WD’s dash on a 45 degree scorcher), adding a little extra oil because why not.
Chuck the steaks on there and cook them to your liking. This is Australia, and all types are welcome, including those who enjoy their steaks seared to oblivion – although, if your children are of this bent, you may want to try to change them before it’s too late.
Dice up your onions then throw them onto the parts of the surface which are as uninhabited as the distant inland reaches of Western Australia. Now we’re cooking.
Chop the cheese and the sourdough into thick slices. If you’re feeding four, cut eight slices of bread. For the sake of the nation, use a proper, sharp bread knife, rather than butchering the loaf with a butter knife. Bide your time while the meat and onions are cooking, perhaps drawing kangaroos in the dust with your big toe (not mandatory). When they’re done, tong them onto a plate, then slap the bread onto the cooking surface, crisping it up and capturing the flavour in the style of Steve Irwin capturing a salty.
Now all the bits and bobs are prepped, it’s time to put them together. Lay out four sourdough slices, then pile a quarter of the meat on each, perhaps a little more for yours truly. Lay down the cheese next, so it can melt on the steak’s heat. Next come the pineapple, beetroot and onion. Go hard on the barbecue sauce and mayo, before closing the deal with a slice on top.