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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pig's tails with corn and crab salad


You'll need to start this recipe early, or the day before.

You'll need

50 gm plain flour 2 eggs, lightly beaten 150 gm fine fresh breadcrumbs For deep-frying: vegetable oil   Ginger jelly 1 gm (2cm piece) sliced ginger 1 kaffir lime leaf 180 ml (¾ cup) Bundaberg ginger beer 1¼ leaves titanium-strength gelatine, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes   Braised pig's tails 1 tbsp olive oil 1 carrot, coarsely chopped 1 onion, coarsely chopped 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped 1 bay leaf 2 garlic cloves, crushed 100 ml Port 6 pig's tails (650gm) 600 ml chicken stock   Apple sauce 2 large (360 gm) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped 20 gm butter Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean   Corn and crab salad 30 ml vegetable oil Kernels cut from 1 corn cob ¼ cup basil 1 tbsp coriander seeds, dry-roasted 60 ml olive oil ¾ tsp lemon juice 500 gm cooked crabmeat ¼ cup baby basil leaves

Method

  • 01
  • For ginger jelly, place ginger, kaffir lime leaf and ginger beer in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then set aside to infuse (4-5 minutes). Pulse in a blender, push through a fine sieve into a clean pan, then squeeze excess water from gelatine and add to hot ginger mix. Pour into a container roughly 9cm x 14cm and refrigerate to set (3-4 hours).
  • 02
  • For braised pig's tails, preheat oven to 150C and place oil in a medium casserole over medium heat. Add vegetables, bay leaf and garlic and stir until softened but not coloured (5 minutes). Add Port, bring to the boil, then add pig's tails and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Cover with baking paper and foil and braise in oven until soft (4 hours). Let the tails cool a little, then drain off stock (reserve for another use). Line a small bar tin (3.5cm x 25cm is ideal) with plastic wrap, then strip the meat and skin from the bones and press into the tin evenly. Place a board and weight on top and refrigerate until set firm (4 hours or overnight).
  • 03
  • For apple sauce, combine apple in a saucepan with butter, vanilla seeds and 1 tbsp water and cook covered over low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft (20 minutes), then process in a blender until smooth. Makes 280ml.
  • 04
  • Remove the tail meat from the tin when set and slice into 6 cubes. Place flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Dip the cubes in flour, then egg, then crumbs, then repeat with egg and crumbs, shaking off excess in between. Set aside.
  • 05
  • Preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 180C. Deep-fry tails in 2 batches, turning frequently to colour evenly, until golden brown (3-4 minutes). Drain on paper towels and keep warm.
  • 06
  • Meanwhile, for corn and crab salad, heat oil in a frying pan over high heat, add corn, season, cover and cook without it popping until soft to bite (2 minutes). Set aside to cool. Pulse basil and coriander seeds in a small blender, then slowly add the oil. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing firmly to extract all oil, then add lemon juice and season to taste. Combine dressing in a bowl with crab and reserved corn, season, arrange on a plate and garnish with baby basil leaves.
  • 07
  • To serve, place pig tail portions on top of salad, put a small dollop of apple sauce on top and a few spoons of ginger jelly around the dish.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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