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Aløft

There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

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Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

Brae

Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

Confit rabbit and pickled vegetable sandwiches


"Sometimes I think anything cooked slowly in pork fat would taste delicious," writes Rodney Dunn. "Here I've opted for rabbit, but chicken could easily be substituted. The pickled vegetables add the perfect piquancy to balance the rich confit in a sandwich."

You'll need

1 1.2kg rabbit, cut into 10 pieces (front and back legs jointed, saddle cut into 6 pieces) 2 fresh bay leaves, torn 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 2 kg duck fat or pork fat (see note) 12 small soft bread rolls   Pickled vegetables 8 baby carrots, halved lengthways 6 small radishes 300 gm gem lettuce hearts (4-5 lettuces) 250 gm baby cucumbers 50 gm fine sea salt 1 litre (4 cups) white wine vinegar 220 gm (1 cup) caster sugar 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced ¼ cup dill sprigs 1 tsp caraway seeds 4 cloves   Garlic and anchovy mayonnaise 3 garlic cloves 3 anchovy fillets 30 ml lemon juice 2 egg yolks 200 ml extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  • 01
  • Place rabbit pieces in a non-metallic ovenproof dish that will hold them snugly. Scatter evenly with 2 tbsp sea salt, bay leaves and garlic, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • 02
  • Next day, remove rabbit from dish, reserving garlic and bay leaves. Rinse rabbit under cold running water, pat dry with paper towels and return to rinsed-out dish with bay leaves and garlic. Preheat oven to 120C.
  • 03
  • Melt fat in a saucepan, then pour it over rabbit. Cover dish with foil, then place in oven and cook for 3 hours. Remove and set aside to cool. The confit will keep, immersed in fat and refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks; to retrieve individual pieces, use a sterilised spoon (see note).
  • 04
  • For pickled vegetables, place all vegetables in a non-metallic bowl, scatter salt over and mix to combine. Cover bowl and set aside at room temperature for 2 hours. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, sugar, garlic, dill and spices in a non-reactive saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then set aside to cool to room temperature. Rinse salt from vegetables and pat dry using a clean tea towel. Combine vegetables and pickling liquid and refrigerate for 3 hours (they will keep for several weeks in the fridge).
  • 05
  • For garlic and anchovy mayonnaise, place garlic, anchovies, lemon juice and yolks in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, light and frothy. With the motor running, add oil in a thin steady stream until mayonnaise is thick and emulsified, then season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and refrigerate until required.
  • 06
  • Halve bread rolls, spread some mayonnaise on each side, then fill with shredded rabbit and drained pickles and serve.

Note Duck fat is available in cans and jars from select delicatessens. To render pork fat, ask your butcher for pork back fat. Cut it into 1cm pieces and place in a saucepan with about 3cm water. Simmer over medium-high heat until all the fat has rendered - this will take 1-2 hours - and only crisp, golden cubes remain. These scratchings can also be eaten as a salty snack, but are not for the faint-hearted! Strain the liquid, which should be clear, through a fine sieve into a clean container. Store lard in an airtight plastic container in the refrigerator - it will keep for several months. To sterilise a spoon, simply pour boiling water over it. Using a sterilised spoon avoids introducing anything undesirable into the confit. This recipe is from The Agrarian Kitchen ($59.99, hbk) by Rodney Dunn, published by Lantern, and reproduced with minor GT style changes.


At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people

Drink Suggestion

Fragrant hoppy ale.

Featured in

Nov 2013

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