Host Mark Wyer and winner Andrew Hanrahan with their mates at the great Australia Day rissole cooking championships in Rockhampton yesterday.
Host Mark Wyer and winner Andrew Hanrahan with their mates at the great Australia Day rissole cooking championships in Rockhampton yesterday. CHRIS ISON

Aussie Day rissoles a treat

MASTERCHEF Australia eat your heart out!

The competition was fierce and the rules were strict as 14 rissole-making contestants went head to head in the Berkelman Street backyard rissole cooking championships in Rockhampton yesterday.

About 20 strictly invited guests (all good mates and colleagues from around the region) joined in the spirit of Australia Day with plenty of beer, traditional Aussie character and a competition unlike no other.

To tie in with the traditional Australia Day flavour, competitors could only use red or game meat in their rissoles and each beef dish was put in front of a panel of four judges.

The event, in its third year, was hosted by Mark Wyer and judges included multicultural chef Keith “Irish” Taylor.

Keith said the winner – Rockhampton’s Andrew “Chook” Hanrahan – took home first place for his complex flavour, texture and quality, not to mention his true Australian efforts.

“He managed to make them at 4am this morning (Australia Day morning) after coming home from a night out,” Keith said with a laugh.

Chook, 28, said the secret ingredient in his “good Aussie lamb rissole” was crushed pistachios and a hint of coriander.

“It was all in the crumbing and the type of meat was important,” Chook said after the competition.

And after we were generously given a taste of Chook’s winning rissole, photographer Chris Ison and I were indeed impressed by its flavour.

Meanwhile, some of the more interesting flavours and combinations put together included overdone curry and chilly flavours, an exotic and brave dish described as the Lleyton Hewitt of rissoles, right through to a Christmas pudding rissole which boasted originality and one which was cheesy like a cheeseburger rissole.

Judge Keith said while it was tough to decide from the top two, he came across two decidedly terrible rissoles, which incorporated chilly and curry flavours.

“I think it was in spite – like they were trying to kill me,” Keith said afterwards as he enjoyed the celebration by the pool with his mates.



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