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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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 goose, peach, bitter leaf and dried cranberry salad


"Confit is a wonderful technique to master - it's such an easy thing to reheat and serve in many different ways," says Jeremy Strode. "I learnt this technique with Pierre Koffmann at La Tante Claire. He's from Gascony, which is the heartland in France for duck and goose. This is typical of something I'd do with confit - adding fresh, crisp and acidic ingredients to offset its richness." Start this recipe a day ahead to cure the goose and steep the cranberries.

You'll need

3 cups (loosely packed) watercress 2 witlof, trimmed, coarsely chopped crossways 2 cups rocket, trimmed, torn 1 radicchio, trimmed, torn 1 curly endive (pale heart only), trimmed 2 peaches (not overripe), cut into thin wedges   Goose leg confit 100 gm sea salt flakes 1 tbsp black peppercorns 8 dried bay leaves, coarsely crumbled 12 thyme sprigs 1 tsp juniper berries, coarsely crushed with a mortar and pestle 4 goose or duck legs (see roast goose breast recipe) 750 gm goose or duck fat (see note)   Cranberry and mustard vinaigrette 3 tsp Dijon mustard 60 ml (1/4 cup) red wine vinegar 150 ml extra-virgin olive oil 35 gm (1/4 cup) dried cranberries

Method

  • 01
  • For goose leg confit, combine salt and half each of the peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme and juniper in a bowl. Sprinkle half over the base of a non-reactive container that hold the legs snugly in a single layer, place legs on top, sprinkle remaining salt mixture over, cover and refrigerate overnight to cure. Next day, preheat oven to 160C. Rinse legs under cold water, then pat dry with paper towels. Melt fat in a casserole over low heat, add remaining spices and herbs and legs, cover with a lid and place in oven until the meat falls from the bone (2-2½ hours). Remove from oven, gently transfer legs to a dish with a slotted spoon, strain fat over legs to cover completely, cover and refrigerate until required. Confit will keep if completely submerged in fat for 2 months.
  • 02
  • For cranberry and mustard vinaigrette, whisk together mustard, vinegar and oil in a bowl and season to taste. Add cranberries and set aside to steep (at least 4 hours or overnight).
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 180C and stand confit for 10-15 minutes to soften fat. Gently remove legs from the fat (reserve for roasting the potatoes), place skin-side down in an ovenproof non-stick or cast-iron frying pan, and roast until golden brown (12-15 minutes). Drain on paper towels, then cut 3 of the legs in half, separating the thigh and drumstick. Shred the meat of the remaining leg and keep warm.
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, wash and dry leaves and divide among serving bowls. Scatter with peach and shredded leg meat, dress with vinaigrette, top with leg pieces and serve.

Note Duck and goose fat is available in cans or jars from select delicatessens.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

You need something textural and fresh to cut through the goose and cranberry. An Alsace riesling or grand cru, such as Albert Boxler Grand Cru Brand, would work well.

Featured in

Dec 2014

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