Recipes for big games

Recipes for big games

1h prep | 50m cook

Last updated

The food you supply at a gathering can really set the tone of the day - cheeses with hard-to-pronounce names arranged next to handkerchief bundles of cured meat to suit a cocktail party, quiche lorraine with a delicate shortcrust served alongside scones, jam and glasses of bubbles for a sophisticated brunch.

These recipes are not for those occasions.

Watching a major sporting event with some good friends and cold drinks is the perfect time to whip out one, or all three, of these simple dishes. Whether you’re cheering on FIFA, AFL, NRL, F1, or any of the other incredible annual sporting events we gather around a screen for, food is an essential part of making the big game, match or race a big event.

Serving up a table full of snacks doesn’t have to take days of cooking or weeks of prep. Some snacks – like our very simple paprika popcorn below- come together in literal seconds, while these rose harissa and lamb sausage rolls and Gochujang-glazed chicken wings bring huge flavour with minimal effort.

Don’t forget to visit your nearest The Essential Ingredient store for all your entertaining inspiration.

Ingredients (Serves 10-12)

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp rose harissa
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup full cream milk
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 3 squares quality butter puff pastry
  • Black sesame seeds
  • 1kg chicken wings
  • 2 tsp salt flakes
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 4 tbsp Gochujang paste
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • Thinly sliced spring onions to serve


  • 1 large bag lightly salted popcorn
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a low-medium heat, then add the olive oil and onions. Sauté the onions slowly, until soft, translucent and just starting to brown then add the garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes before adding the rose harissa and ground coriander. Fry gently for two minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and leave the onion and harissa mix to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a bowl, then add the lamb, the whites from the eggs and the room temperature onion and harissa mix. Add the salt, then combine well with your hands until ingredients are all incorporated and thereat begins to emulsify slightly.

Optional: fry a small ball of the meat mix at this stage and taste to check the seasoning, adjusting as needed.

Cut a square of pastry in half lengthways (keeping the rest in the fridge until needed), then run a line of the meat mix, around 2cm high and 2cm wide, along the centre. Gently beat the egg yolk and use a pastry brush to paint a line of yolk along one long edge of the pastry. Roll the pastry around the sausage, with the seam on the bottom underneath the meat.

Slice into 1 1/2 inch lengths and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush tops with egg yolk then sprinkle with black sesame seeds.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with black garlic tomato sauce.


Preheat oven to 180C.

Break the chicken wings down into drumettes, flats and wing tips. The tips can be discarded or frozen to use when next making a stock or jus. In a large bowl, toss the wing pieces with the sesame oil, salt flakes and baking powder (the latter will make the wings go crispy). Arrange in a single layer on a baking tray lined with baking paper (or two), and roast for 30 minutes or until nicely browned.

Combine Gochujang, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, garlic and ginger in a saucepan and bring to gentle simmer over a medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, then set aside.

Transfer cooked wings to a bowl, pour over the Gochujang sauce, then toss well. Serve with thinly sliced spring onions.


Combine the popcorn and paprika in a large bowl. Serve immediately.

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