Being a guy is difficult sometimes. Cooking for yourself after a long day at work might be the last thing on your mind. But to heed the advice of Robert Rodriguez “Not knowing how to cook is a lot like not knowing how to f#@k, you're going to do it for the rest of your life so you might as well know how”.
There are certain things you should know how to cook as a bloke. Some basic staples that you should master in order to put food in your belly and impress your guests should you feel the need to entertain. There's also fewer things hotter than a guy who can handle himself in the kitchen.
Getting up to speed isn't as hard as you may think, it's just a matter of choosing five straightforward dishes that each develop a different set of skills and then building on those to increase your repertoire later. By getting good at these dishes, you'll learn fundamental cooking skills like grilling, boiling, roasting, braising and sautéing, which can be applied to more exotic offerings down the track. Are you ready?
1. Beef steak
On top of that the price of the evening ends up being far greater when you factor in a few rounds of beer, a couple of games of pool and maybe a cheeky punt on a horse you're only betting on because the name is ridiculous. So why not just stay at home split a cheap six pack with a mate, fire up the grill and cook the steak you selected from the butcher? Ten bucks worth of meat at a butcher will taste far better than the bulk buy cut at the pub. Here’s a good video by Jamie Oliver on how to cook the perfect steak. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46eRIxVxkG8
Although I have not conducted a survey, I feel that it would be safe to assume that "spag bol" would be the most prepared dish in Australia. It’s a dish that is important for everyone to know how to cook. It's diverse and can be incorporated into a lasagne, shepherds pie, chilli con carne or atop your favourite pasta with some minor tweaking in flavours and spices. It's rare to find someone that doesn't like a good bolognese, so it has to be on our list. There are many schools of thought on how to make the best one but this vid by Gennaro Contaldo is one of our favourites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyayNr65OHc Note: to beardsmen, your beard may need a good wash with beard shampoo after consuming this dish.
3. Beef Stew
A beef stew is hearty classic that is always a good idea. It is cheap, delicious, moorish and is very difficult to stuff up. It can be made using a red or white wine or a beer depending on what flavours suits you. This dish is a great if you’re a single dude on a budget, it can be made on a Sunday night in bulk and portioned out for later lunches and dinners throughout the week. Serving it with rice, mash potato or some steamed veggies will diversify the meal throughout the week. Here’s a great recipe from Anthony Bourdain cooking a beef bourguignon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Iu8Pzlrfuk
4. Leg of Lamb
There is nothing more classic than cooking a leg of lamb on a sunday arvo. Sunday roast in the afternoon is what a bloody mary is to Sunday morning, an essential! Practically everyone loves lamb, and if you invite people around for a roast you know they'll be scrapping for those delicious caramelised crusty bits around the outside of the leg. The reason why this is on the list is because it's quite easy to cook but has the appearnce of being quite difficult due to the size of the dish. Usually there are leftovers that you can make a sambo with the next day. The leg of lamb either cooked in the oven or on the webber. It is a sterling dish every man must know how to cook. Check out this great recipe by Food Wishes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZP1HWvCvhWY
5. Scrambled Eggs
Everyone knows how to fry an egg. But I feel like most people don’t know how to make a good scrambie. Using butter instead of olive oil provides a deeper rich creaminess in my opinion and should be the only way to make them. This is on the list because they are delicious, and if you're gonna have a few people over for a brunch then they are a lot more impressive than a sunny side up (which are tasty but not as exciting). Scrambie eggs are a perfect partner in crime with some bacon but are also fantastic solo, and if you have no toasts or bacon or anything to accompany them they are delicious on their own. Gordon Ramsay doesn't mess around with his scrambled eggs, check out his video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUP7U5vTMM0
These are just 5 basic dishes that we reckon every man should know how to cook. Having said that, feel free to sub some of these out for your own dishes, depending on what you like and your skill level.
The list we compiled below is for the meat eaters among us and we'll make a vegetarian and possibly even vegan list later for those that are interested. If you have any suggestions for essential dishes, please let us know in the comments section below.
Until then, happy cooking fellas. Bon appétit.
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Author: Kareem Ghaly
Editor: Ben De Campo
Image Credits: thefortytwo dot com (steak), norecipes dot com (spaghetti bolognese), mccormack dot com (beef stew), guff dot com (scrambled eggs).