Matty Matheson looking spiffy while donning sandals with a suit on the Emmys red carpet wasn’t on our 2024 bingo card. But a few years ago, seeing the boisterous chef – previously best known for hosting Vice cooking shows like Dead Set on Life and It’s Suppertime – acting in and producing one of the biggest TV shows of recent times wouldn’t have seemed likely either. Yet here we are in an era when the high-spirited inked-up Canadian is a bonafide TV star (thanks to The Bear), can be spotted accepting prestigious awards and has even launched his own fashion line.
It’s high time, then, to revisit Matheson’s 2020 cookbook, Home Style Cookery. While home-style cooking usually shouts pared-back and easy, in Matheson’s hands this remit translates as approachable, big-flavoured and comforting: bone marrow tartine, double-beef patty melts and green curry beef ribs. There’s also this caesar salad – and because it’s a Matheson recipe, it’s anything but a boring old veggie-and-dressing scenario.
“If your caesar salad dressing doesn’t burn your tongue, it’s not good, and that’s a fact,” writes Matheson. “There needs to be enough garlic to burn your tongue, so if my recipe doesn’t do it or you have a higher garlic-burn–tongue ratio, then add more and add just enough anchovy. That’s the key: burn-your-tongue garlic and just enough anchovy. I guess I’m trying to mess up your first dates or your kids’ breath.
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“Now mixing lettuce with this kind of dressing is no joke – you need to add it little by little to make sure you’re not overdressing because with a burn-your-tongue dressing, going over the line can destroy this whole process. It’s not about really fucking up your shit, it’s just supposed to hit and punch up a mundane caesar salad.”
Matty Matheson’s caesar salad
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
6 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
2 garlic cloves, grated on a microplane
Kosher salt, a dash
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
2 tbsp olive oil
75ml (⅓ cup) vegetable oil
3 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
2 tbsp lemon juice
6 slices (100g) of your favourite bread
60ml (¼ cup) melted butter
450g cos lettuce hearts, cut in half
Preheat the oven to 175°C.
On a cutting board, chop together the anchovy fillets, garlic and dash of salt. Use the side of your knife to mash the mixture into a paste. Scrape the paste into a medium bowl. Add the egg yolks, mustard, vinegar and pepper, and whisk until emulsified. Slowly add the olive oil, drip by drip, until fully incorporated, then do the same with the vegetable oil.
Whisk until the dressing is thick and glossy. Whisk in the cheese, adjusting the consistency with water, and season with salt and more pepper if needed. Add the lemon juice.
For the croutons, tear the bread slices into medium pieces, toss them in melted butter, then toast in the oven until golden, 10 to 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, gently toss the lettuce using your hands, adding the dressing a couple of spoonfuls at a time until you reach your desired amount. Give the lettuce a taste to check for seasoning. Start building your salad on a large flat plate, putting the halved cos hearts down. Then, throw some croutons on there. Keep going until you have a mountain of salad. Top with more cheese until fully covered.
Find the recipe for Matheson’s submarine sandwich here.
Matty Matheson Home Style Cookery by Matty Matheson is by Abrams Books and distributed by Thames & Hudson Australia. It’s $49.99 and out now. Buy it here.