A signature dish

Unlike Ben, I’m sticking with MasterChef through thick and thin. Yes, the plate dropping incident was shark jumpingly contrived. Yes, George reminds me of the type of sports fan who throws “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” in to any pause in conversation, and yes, the product placement can be a little over the top, and yes, the contestants are all prima donnas who spout mangled sporting cliches about how this experience is life changing and elimination is but a small hurdle on the path to dream fulfillment… but it’s about food. So it’s compelling viewing.

Have you got a signature dish? What is it?

I like cooking curries. Some people have told me they like my Butter Chicken recipe, my wife has told me that the Beef Massaman I made this week is “my best curry ever”… so here’s my attempt to recreate the recipe for posterity’s sake… it’s designed to have leftovers – because curry is always better two days later.


  • Approx 400g of Rump Steak
  • A large onion
  • Crushed garlic (1 dessert spoon)
  • Two potatoes
  • One large tin of tomato soup, or a small tin of concentrate (plus an equal volume of water).
  • One standard sized tin of Coconut Cream
  • 100gm of butter
  • Curry Powder (to taste)
  • Turmeric (a pinch)
  • Cinnamon (a pinch)
  • Hungarian Sweet Paprika (two pinches)
  • Fish Oil (two teaspoons)
  • Brown sugar (a tablespoon)
  • Massaman curry paste (the type that comes in a jar)


  1. Slice the onion. Fry it on a low heat with the garlic, some olive oil and curry powder.
  2. Dice the potatoes, boil them till they’re soft.
  3. Mix the tomato soup, coconut cream, curry powder, paprika, cinnamon, and butter in a large pot. Keep it on a relatively high heat and stir until the ingredients are a nice smooth sauce.
  4. Add the onion and potato to the sauce.
  5. Add the brown sugar and fish oil.
  6. Mix the massaman paste in a frypan with a dash of olive oil. The jar probably says to fry it until you can smell it. Do that.
  7. Dice the steak. Add it to the frypan – coat the pieces liberally with the fried paste. Cook until the pieces are medium rare.
  8. Add the steak to the sauce.
  9. Simmer on low heat for 45 minutes.
  10. Serve with rice.

I’ll try following these steps again in a week or so to make sure I haven’t missed a step. But I think it’s all there. Tomato soup is a terrific base for cooking. I also use it in my Butter Chicken and Spaghetti Bolognese.


queenstuss says:

I watch Masterchef with my computer on my lap, so I only watch the food bits not all the other rubbish. Except Friday night. That’s all about food, not sob stories. Well, food and the George looking like he’s stepped straight out of speech coaching. The product placements annoy me too. There are some things that I want to know what brand they are and can’t find out, and I’m sick of seeing the Scanpan logo. I have Scanpan and hate it. Wish I could replace it all but spent far too much money on it. And what’s with Coles providing all their ingredients? Obviously not my local Coles.