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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.

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. 

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O Tama Carey's fried eggs with seeni sambol, coconut and turmeric

"I first cooked a version of this dish - inspired by the excellent deep-fried egg dish at Billy Kwong - while working at a restaurant in Sri Lanka," says O Tama Carey. "The lattice-like eggs are doused in a creamy turmeric curry sauce and topped with seeni sambol, a sweet-spiced caramelised onion relish. This dish is equally perfect for an indulgent breakfast as it is served as part of a larger meal." The recipe for the seeni sambol makes more than you need, but to get the right balance of spices you need to make at least this much. It keeps refrigerated for up to three weeks; use as an onion relish. The curry sauce can be made a day or two ahead.

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.

Open steak sandwich with onions and barbecue sauce


You'll need

1 kg piece hanger steak, at room temperature For drizzling: olive oil 2 ciabatta rolls, halved horizontally 2 Spanish onions, thickly sliced 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, thickly sliced To serve: good-quality mayonnaise 1 cup (loosely packed) wild rocket   Barbecue sauce 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped 2 onions, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 125 ml Kentucky bourbon 350 ml tomato sauce 250 ml (1 cup) each tomato passata and cider vinegar 150 gm brown sugar 80 ml (1/3 cup) Worcestershire sauce 60 gm (¼ cup) molasses 3 canned chipotle chillies in adobo (see note) 1 tbsp chipotle Tabasco (see note) Juice of 1 lemon

Method

  • 01
  • For barbecue sauce, heat butter in a large saucepan over low heat, add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until very tender (10-15 minutes). Increase heat to medium, add bourbon, bring to the simmer, then add remaining ingredients except lemon juice. Reduce heat to low and stir occasionally until thick and dark (45-50 minutes). Add juice, season to taste, pour into sterile containers or jars, seal and refrigerate to cool. Makes about 1 litre. Barbecue sauce will keep refrigerated for 3 weeks in a sterile airtight container.
  • 02
  • Preheat a barbecue to medium heat. Drizzle steak with a little olive oil, season to taste and barbecue, turning frequently, until cooked to your liking (15-20 minutes for medium-rare). Set aside to rest for 10 minutes then thickly slice.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, drizzle cut-sides of ciabatta with a little oil, season to taste, grill on barbecue until toasted (1-2 minutes), set aside.
  • 04
  • Drizzle onion with a little oil, season to taste and barbecue on the flat plate, stirring occasionally, until tender (5-10 minutes). 5 Spread cut-sides of ciabatta with mayonnaise, divide steak among ciabatta, top with tomato, onion and rocket, season to taste and serve with barbecue sauce.

Note Canned chipotle chillies in adobo and chipotle Tabasco are available from select grocers and delicatessens.


Oh the joys of January. After the frenzied festive season it's time to draw breath, relax and enjoy all summer has to offer: balmy days, evening swims and backyard barbecues.

And while the barbie is all about that perfect steak or snag, here at GT we're great believers in the power of the almighty condiment. Our desert-island condiment of choice is barbecue sauce - homemade, of course.

Both North and South Carolina in the USA stake claims to the sauce's origins, although there are four key schools - mustard, vinegar-and-pepper, light tomato, and heavy tomato - all with seemingly endless iterations. Although the vinegar-and-pepper type has the longest history, it's the heavy-tomato barbecue sauce we're most familiar with today.

Many companies claim to have produced the first commercial barbecue sauce, but one that could argue its case strongly - if it still existed - is Atlanta's Georgia Barbecue Sauce Company. An advertisement for its sauce was published in the Atlanta Constitution in 1909. Another contender is the Louis Maull Company, which began manufacturing it sauce in St Louis, Missouri, in 1926, and continues to produce it using the same recipe today.

While every region has its own version of the sauce, those from Kansas City and Memphis are the most notable. Kansas City's is red-brown, thick and quite sweet, most similar to commercially produced versions; the Memphis sauce has a vinegar kick and is sweetened with molasses rather than sugar.

We've channelled the Memphis style here because the extra vinegar cuts through the richness of the meat. We've also added, less classically, canned chipotle chillies in adobo for their deep, smoky flavour. A similar result can be achieved with smoked paprika added incrementally to taste.

Slather the sauce on barbecued meats or serve it on the perfect steak sandwich as we've done here. If only January could last forever.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Jan 2012

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