You can tell that this is a ’70s recipe by the picture.  It doesn’t look particularly appetizing I’ll admit, but when you realize that it’s just a bolognese sauce with eggs on top it makes more sense.  I’d definitely be sprinkling the grated cheese and bacon on top though as that might make it look a bit better.


As this says it’s not a traditional moussaka.  Traditional Greek moussaka is made with eggplant and this recipe uses potato in it’s place.  I think that using both eggplant and potato would work really well too, but making a traditional mince and tomato base sauce would probably be a lot better than a can of braised steak and onions.


Did swagmen really make this out in the bush?  I have no idea, but even if they didn’t it still  makes a great hearty meal for the family. If you want you can easily add potato or other vegetables and I’d recommend leaving the meat mixture to cool a little before you put it on the puff pastry as hot meat will make the pastry soft and harder to handle.



By the yellowing of this newspaper clipping Mum cut it out of the Herald Sun quite a long while ago, but meatloaves never go out of fashion.  The article talks about how good cold a meatloaf is and how good it is for picnics and sandwiches, but hot meatloaf with roast potatoes and gravy is really very hard to beat.  Great hot for dinner and great next day for sandwiches – as the article says, it’s very versatile.

Meatloaves x 3


I’ve no idea why this is called a cake, if anything the finished dish looks more like a pudding as it has a lovely brown crust on top. It makes an economical family meal that tastes great.

Baked Steak Cake


  • 750g minced steak
  • 60g chopped bacon
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 dessertspoon tomato sauce
  • 1 dessertspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt (optional)


  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 30g melted butter
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 heaped tablespoon chopped parsley

In a basin, place the meat, bacon, onion, cheese, sauces and seasonings. Mix and spread evenly in a 20cm x 20cm casserole dish. Pour topping over meat and bake at 180º for 1 hour until top is set and browned. Cut into squares and serve with mashed potatoes and buttered spinach or other green vegetable.

For topping – sift dry ingredients into a basin. Make a well in the centre and add beaten eggs, milk, melted butter, cheese and parsley. Mix and beat until smooth.


I’m not sure of the origins of this recipe, but it’s been a Sunday night staple in our family for many years. My husband’s mother also made it, although her version left out the rice and added carrots. I still make it, but add in soy or teriyaki sauce. I think it’s one of those recipes that enable you to use up whatever vegies are left in the fridge – tasty and versatile.

Chop Suey cropped


  • 500g minced steak
  • ½ cabbage finely chopped
  • 4 sticks celery
  • 2 onions
  • 1 pkt Chicken Noodle soup
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 tablespoon rice
  • Salt & Pepper

Cook the mince steak in butter until brown, then add the onion & celery and cook until soft. Add the soup, curry, rice and salt and pepper, then lastly the cabbage. Cook for about 30 mins until the cabbage is cooked – mixed all together. ***You can add extra vegetables & soy or teriyaki sauce to taste.


Pasta dishes have come a long way since Mum first cooked this recipe, but that’s not to say that her version wasn’t tasty.

Spaghetti & Meat Sauce cropped


  • 500g spaghetti
  • 500g finely minced steak
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh herbs or a good pinch of dried herbs
  • 1 small tin tomato puree
  • ½ cup cold water
  • ½ cup red wine, such as claret
  • Salt & pepper
  • Grated cheese

Melt a little butter in a saucepan and fry the chopped garlic and onion until soft but not brown. Add the minced meat, salt, pepper, herbs, cloves, tomato puree, water and wine. Cover and simmer gently for ¾ hour. In a large quantity of salted water cook the spaghetti till soft, about ¾ hour. Drain and place in serving dish. Mix about a third of the sauce into spaghetti and put the rest of the sauce on top. Top with cheese.


This recipe appeared several times in Mum’s collection, a couple of times in newspaper columns and in a little cookbook called ‘Simple Minced Steak Recipes’ that her bowls club put out as a fundraiser. I’ve cooked it lots of times as the family always liked it. If you add Cauliflower Cheese and a throw a jacket potato in the oven you’ve got an easy meal.

Porcupine Meatballs4


  • 500g minced steak
  • ½ cup uncooked rice
  • 1 small onion (grated or finely chopped)
  • 415g can tomato soup
  • ¼ cup water
  • Pepper

Mix meat, rice, onion and seasonings. Shape into small balls and place in casserole dish. Mix tomato soup and water and pour over meatballs. Cook in a moderate oven 180°C for 1 hour. Do not overcook.


I doubt that this is even close to being a genuine Mexican recipe, but it does show the influence that “foreign” food started to have on Mum’s recipe collection. It was another Sunday night tea – easy to make, filling and tasty. I love that it was written on a brown paper bag!!

Rice Mexicana cropped



  • ¾ cup rice (uncooked)
  • 1 tablespoon dripping
  • 1 dessertspoon lemon juice
  • 1 rounded teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ cup tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups stock or water
  • 1 small onion
  • 250g minced steak

Wash rice and fry in dripping with chopped onion till a light brown then add salt, curry powder, lemon juice, tomato puree, minced steak and water or stock. Stir till boiling then simmer for ½ hour or until rice is cooked. Lift lid of saucepan 5 mins before serving to dry out rice. Serve with grilled cheese on top.