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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.

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.

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.

Boeuf Bourguignon


The recipe for the traditional braise of Burgundy may have changed slightly, writes Emma Knowles, but one ingredient remains non-negotiable: a bottle of the region's red wine.

You'll need

80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil 300 gm piece speck, rind removed, cut into lardons 16 small golden shallots 1.2 kg beef rump, trimmed, cut into 4cm pieces For dusting: seasoned plain flour 750 ml red wine from Burgundy 300 ml veal stock 4 thyme sprigs 2 fresh bay leaves 2 garlic cloves, crushed 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped 300 gm button mushrooms, quartered To serve: crusty baguette and buttered steamed chat potatoes

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 150C. Heat half the oil in a casserole over medium heat, add speck and stir occasionally until golden (5-7 minutes). Remove from casserole and set aside. Reduce heat to low, add shallots and stir occasionally until golden (15-17 minutes). Remove from casserole and set aside. Increase heat to high, then, working in batches, toss beef in seasoned flour, shaking off excess, add to pan and turn occasionally until well browned (3-4 minutes). Remove from pan, set aside and repeat with remaining beef. Reduce heat to medium, add wine, stock, herbs, garlic and beef, bring to the simmer, season to taste, cover and braise in oven for 45 minutes. Add speck and shallots and braise until shallots and beef are very tender (45 minutes-1 hour).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, heat butter and remaining oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add mushrooms, stir occasionally until golden (3-4 minutes), then season to taste. Serve beef topped with mushrooms, with hot crusty baguette and buttered steamed potatoes.

Traditionally, a tough cut of beef - most often rump - was studded with lardons to impart extra fat and flavour before being braised in a combination of the region's signature red wine - Burgundy - and a deeply flavoured beef stock. A bouquet garni imparted extra flavour, and champignons and pearl onions were added at the end of long and languid cooking. Over time, the recipe evolved from honest peasant fare to haute cuisine, and Auguste Escoffier's 1903 recipe became the standard-bearer, although Escoffier used a whole piece of beef rather than smaller cubes. Much later, Julia Child brought boeuf Bourguignon to the notice of a whole new generation of cooks.

Changes in cooking equipment and available ingredients have brought about subtle changes to the recipe since Escoffier's version was published all those years ago, although for the most part it has remained safe from new-age tweaking. Today's cuts of meat have sufficient marbling to render the larding technique unnecessary, but boeuf Bourguignon simply wouldn't be the same without smoky bacon or speck, so these days it's included as a separate component. As to the meat itself, traditionally rump is used, and historically this would have come from the Charolais cattle for which Burgundy is famed. Other secondary cuts such as shin, however, would also work beautifully. One ingredient that is strictly non-negotiable if you value authenticity is the wine: it must be a Burgundy, preferably of a quality you'd happily quaff.

Like many long-cooked dishes, boeuf Bourguignon is even better the next day, so plan ahead a little and give it some time in the refrigerator. Alternatively, make a double batch and enjoy some straight away and the remainder a day or two later. You'll be glad you did.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Jul 2012

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