Things We Love: Gina Rinehart’s niche cookbook

When I heard Gina Rinehart had done a cookbook I thought, “Isn’t that nice, she’s found another family business to ramp up.” I mean, who could ever forget Rose’s Way to a Man’s Heart, the culinary secrets of the former wife of Gina’s father, the four-time bride Rose Porteous, which included the memorable chapter “The way to an iron stomach”, dedicated to hubby number three, iron-ore magnate Lang Hancock, Gina’s father.

Cookbooks run in the “family”.

I also thought, selfishly, that it was a pity I couldn’t contribute. My soy-glazed nut mix is the perfect snack for nibbling at the High Court while you’re waiting to appear in a family case. My salmon fish cakes are a terrific brain food, and I thought that might help with the poetry.

Anyway, the book, launched the other day by Alan Jones (of course), is called Things We Love, which only goes to show that having Gina round for tea could be problematic because we clearly love quite different things, based on the book’s gastro-content. It’s also a fairly misleading title, and sounds way too much like a new Neil Perry, in any case. It should have been called Recipes for People Stuck on Outback Cattle Stations because, frankly, these are recipes only people with access to freshly eviscerated carcasses and tinned/frozen/dried pantry items will want (or be able) to cook from. It’s a niche audience.

The book, which will raise funds for drought relief, is not filled with Gina’s own recipes but rather those supplied by people living and working on her many cattle stations, with tributes to bush life and, perhaps in deference to the boss’s own penchant for iambic pentameter, poems too. I particularly liked the ode to feedlot life by Jamie Gibbs of Tungali Feedlot, part of the S. Kidman & Co collection in South Australia:

Feeding is completed and software is updated/

We check over our day to make sure everything is located.

And pictures: from a graphic perspective, Things We Love is possibly the brownest cookbook published this century, but then, there’s only so much you can do with meatloaf and gravy.

Naturally, there are beef recipes in there: I counted 126, actually, from a total of 197. “We,” I take from this, are not big on vegetarians. And given just how much beef Gina’s staff are apparently consuming, I’m a little worried about the profits being, quite literally, eaten.

Some of these recipes are eminently achievable. A “bolognese” that includes sweet potato and pumpkin, for example. Elsewhere, a “bolognaise” with grated carrot and powdered chicken stock and mince. Crumbed steak actually appears more often than the famous pasta sauce of Bologna, which is three times. Add to that 126 total multiple takes on curried sausages, innumerable curries and meat loaf of many persuasions.

If Gina does accept my dinner invitation, I’ll make her the “savoury mince” recipe with frozen vegies, French onion packet soup and Maggie (sic) Rich Gravy Mix. That’s simple. But I’ll need her help on the main course, since I own no cows, or stations: “Kill Day Skirt Steak Skewers: best enjoyed in the afternoon once your fresh killer is in the cold room to hang.” Brutal. Buy a copy and support drought relief; it’s an important cause.

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