In a world where celebrity chefs rule and everyone knows their pesto from their aioli, every man needs a dish they can call their signature. And no, a Sunday morning fry-up doesn't cut it. Your 'man dish' doesn't have to be complicated, nor Michelin starred, but it does have to be good.
Two of Australia's leading chefs share their favourite "man dish" that packs a respectful punch without draining your man time in the kitchen.
There used to be a stigma about men cooking, but now everyone wants to be a chef
Colin Fassnidge's Sunday Roast Suckling Pig
Colin Fassnidge from two hat restaurant The Four In Hand and one hat restaurant 4Fourteen thinks a Sunday roast is a ''must know'' dish for every man to have up his sleeve.
“It's super easy and you actually get great results for little effort, plus you get to share it with everyone,” Fassnidge says. “There used to be a stigma about men cooking, but now everyone wants to be a chef. I cook with my little girls and it's a good bonding session.”
Put some bayleaf, thyme, rosemary and smashed fresh garlic with some oil in a plastic bag big enough for your piece of suckling pig shoulder still on the bone. Meat left on the bone retains more of the moisture. Score your meat and place in the bag and put in the fridge overnight.
Place carrots, parsnips, garlic and whole onions skinned on the bottom of a roasting tray and pour the oil from the plastic bag over them. Put your meat on top of the vegetables to stop it from hitting the bottom of the tray (it will overcook and become grey if it does).
Add salt and pepper and put in an oven that has been preheated to 200 degrees. Don't place it in before it is hot, or the meat will stew. After half an hour, lower the temperature to 100 degrees, and let it slow-cook for three hours.
When cooked, take it out of oven and let it rest. You don't want to cut it open when it is hot or it will steam dry. Serve at just above room temperature.
Use the juices from the bottom of the roasting tray and add some red or white wine to make a jus and use the flavour of the pan for the sauce.
Mark le Brooy's chilli crab
Mark le Brooy from the one hat Three Blue Ducks restaurant in Sydney's Bronte thinks if a man doesn't know how to cook a steak, then he needs a testosterone shot - which is why he served up chilli crab to his girlfriend when he was courting her.
“You could take a girl to a restaurant and eat with fine forks off fine crockery but I want to see her at her best,” says le Brooy. “I like to see her roll her sleeves up and get dirty, and serving food at home cuts the pretence. Chilli crab is so easy and people think you've taken hours to make it.”
Work to the idea of one crab per person, but if you're hungry you may want two or three.
You need to make a chilli paste – 5 cloves of garlic, 10 long red deseeded chillies, a nob of ginger the size of a golf ball, 50 grams of palm sugar, a bunch of coriander root chopped (put the leaves aside) and two tablespoons of sweet soy sauce. This is enough for about six to eight crabs.
Put this in a heavy-set frypan with some vegetable oil, cook until soft and the chillies are translucent, and add water if needed. Put in blender and make a paste.
In another heavy-set fry pan, add vegetable oil and heat. Cut the swimmer crabs in quarters, take their tops off and take the filter lung bits out and rinse. Put the paste into the pan and let it sizzle, add the crab and the juice will start to come out, then pour a tin of coconut milk over the top and put a lid on it for two minutes.
Remove from heat, add a squeeze of lime and some lemon zest, a handful of chopped coriander leaves, stir around and chuck in a bowl. Serve with naan or roti bread.
Men, what's your sure-fire hit meal? Ladies, what do you think a man should be able to cook?