Old school Aussie rissoles and gravy…in the slow cooker 

G Major starting school has got me thinking about my primary school days. Growing up in Australia, it was pretty different from her experience: starting school in the baking heat of summer; no school dinners, only packed lunches; enforced laps of the playing field every morning.

I’ve also been thinking about the evening meals I ate. 80s suburban Queensland wasn’t known for its adventurous palate, in the main, but Mum served up all sorts – Asian, Middle Eastern, Greek, pastas other than spag bol, Eastern European goulash-type dishes with dumplings, Mexican, mouth-melting Sri Lankan curries for Dad…we were very lucky.

But the traditional meat and three veg still featured, and especially mince, which then, as now, was economical and appealed to small children. Rissoles are a staple of Australian family cooking, so I decided to declare the school year open with these.

Even better, this is a slow cooker version. So make them up in the morning and forget about them until suppertime.

As ever, there is extra veg hidden in these.

What you need

  • 500g beef mince
  • Half an onion, finely grated or blitzed in the food processor
  • Small courgette, ditto
  • Small carrot, ditto
  • (I also threw in the dregs of a cauliflower but you can omit this)
  • An egg
  • Handful of breadcrumbs (I used panko but stale while bread is good too)
  • Teaspoon of mustard or mustard powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • Squirt of BBQ sauce
  • Splash of Worcestershire sauce

What you do

  1. Mix the mince, egg, veg, breadcrumbs, mustard and seasoning together
  2. Form into balls (this made 10 for me) and flatten slightly, then put into the slow cooker
  3. Mix together the stock and sauces and pour over the rissoles, then cook on low for 6 hours.

And that is IT! So easy. Big G was drifting about the kitchen muttering darkly about mince turning to soup in the slow cooker but they held together perfectly. The kids ate them and Big G ate his words.

Traditionally these are served with mashed potatoes and peas; I did sweet potato mash, peas, runner beans and carrots. Oven chips would be delicious if you like a bit of dirty chips and gravy, or you could even serve over buttered pasta.

A proper taste of my childhood. What’s yours?

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