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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.

Roast suckling pig with bitter greens and apple


You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

You'll need

½ suckling pig (5kg) For shallow-frying: olive oil 2 slices ginger, finely chopped 3 sprigs sage leaves, chopped 150 gm butter 2 garlic cloves, crushed   Pork sauce 1 tbsp olive oil 1.7 litres homemade chicken stock 1 litre Port 1 cinnamon quill, dry-roasted 4 star anise 1½ each onions, carrots and celery stalks, coarsely chopped 1 garlic clove, crushed 125 gm ginger, sliced ½ bunch sage, coarsely torn   Caramelised apples 200 gm caster sugar 200 gm butter 6 Granny Smith apples, trimmed, halved widthways   Celeriac rémoulade 2 celeriac bulbs (500 gm each), peeled, cut into julienne 15 gm mayonnaise 2 tbsp each Dijon and wholeseed mustard 1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley 100 gm cornichons, coarsely chopped 75 gm capers in vinegar, coarsely chopped To taste: lemon juice   Bitter leaf and apple salad 1 Granny Smith apple, cut into julienne 1 bunch sorrel, thinly sliced 1 bunch rocket, thinly sliced 1 bunch red radishes, thinly sliced 1 head red witlof, torn 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  • 01
  • Make a brine with 20gm fine sea salt and 500ml water and brush it over the skin of the pig (do not get brine on the meat). Break down the pig into sub-primal cuts - belly, rack, loin, leg, shoulder, and neck (reserving bones for sauce; see note). Remove the offal - kidney, cheek, ear, tongue, snout, and tail. Refrigerate everything until required.
  • 02
  • For pork sauce, preheat oven to 180C, and cut bones and trotters up (set a quarter of the bones aside to add to the stock later to freshen) and coat in 1 tbsp olive oil, season to taste and roast in a roasting pan until golden (40-50 minutes). Transfer to a large saucepan, cover completely with stock, then simmer over medium heat until stock is well flavoured (1-1½ hours). Strain, discard bones and reserve stock. Meanwhile, boil Port, cinnamon and star anise in a large saucepan over high heat until reduced by half (30-40 minutes). Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic, stir to combine, then add reserved pork stock and cook over low-medium heat until reduced to a sauce consistency (2 hours; adding ginger, sage and remaining pork bones during last 30 minutes of cooking). Strain through a fine sieve. Makes 500ml.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 150C. Place shoulder on an oven tray lined with baking paper, rub 2 tsp olive oil on the skin side, season to taste and roast until very tender (3 hours). Combine 100ml pork sauce with offal, ginger and the chopped sage in a casserole, cover and braise in oven until tender (3 hours). Strain off liquor and set aside.
  • 04
  • For caramelised apples, heat 2 large heavy-based frying pans over medium heat, add sugar, butter and apples and cook until just starting to caramelise (2-3 minutes). Keep warm.
  • 05
  • Increase oven to 220C. Melt butter with garlic and set aside. Add 5mm oil to 2 frying pans over medium-high heat and sear the pork cuts, in batches of cuts, skin-side down to crisp up the crackling until golden and crunchy (3-4 minutes), then transfer to an oven rack and roast until internal temperature is 55C (5-10 minutes). Take the meat out of the oven and baste with butter mixture, then set aside to rest (10 minutes).
  • 06
  • Meanwhile, for celeriac rémoulade, combine ingredients in a bowl, season to taste and set aside.
  • 07
  • For bitter leaf and apple salad, combine ingredients in a bowl, toss and set aside.
  • 08
  • Place a small heaped pile of celeriac rémoulade and half a caramelised apple on each serving plate. Slice a piece of each cut of meat 1cm thick and arrange on each plate, top with salad and finish with pork sauce drizzled around.

At A Glance

  • Serves 10 - 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 10 - 12 people

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