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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Perfect match: slow-roasted lamb with grenache


You'll need

2 tbsp currants 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil 2 onions, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced ¼ cup rosemary, coarsely chopped 120 gm coarse breadcrumbs from day-old sourdough 60 gm parmesan, finely grated 45 gm (¼ cup) pine nuts 1 boneless lamb leg (about 1.5kg) 125 ml dry white wine   Buttered parsnip 1 kg parsnip, core removed, coarsely chopped 1 kg swede, coarsely chopped 120 ml pouring cream 60 gm butter, coarsely chopped 2 rosemary sprigs 1 garlic clove, halved horizontally   Braised borlotti beans 2 tbsp olive oil 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 500 gm podded borlotti beans (about 1kg unpodded 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock 1 bunch (about 400gm) chicory, trimmed

Method

  • 01
  • Soak currants in vinegar in a bowl (30 minutes). Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, and onion and garlic, stir occasionally until tender (7-8 minutes), add rosemary, stir until fragrant (1-2 minutes) and set aside to cool. Add breadcrumbs, parmesan, pine nuts and currant mixture, stir to combine and season to taste.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 150C. Place lamb leg on a work surface, press stuffing over lamb, season to taste and roll to enclose stuffing. Tie with kitchen string, place in a casserole, add wine, cover and roast until tender (4-5 hours).
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, for buttered parsnip, steam parsnip and swede until tender (25-30 minutes). Stir cream, butter, rosemary and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat until warm. Strain into parsnip mixture (discard rosemary and garlic), mash to combine, season to taste and keep warm.
  • 04
  • For braised borlotti beans, heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add garlic and stir occasionally until tender (3-4 minutes). Add borlotti beans and stock, season to taste and simmer until beans are tender (10-12 minutes). Add chicory, cook until tender (4-6 minutes) and season to taste. Serve hot with buttered parsnip and slow-roasted lamb.

The ingredients and the cooking methods in this dish read like a description of the flavour of a good, rustic, earthy red wine made from grenache, either starring solo as a varietal wine or with support from one or more of its Rhône Valley stablemate grapes: syrah (shiraz), mourvedre (mataro), cinsault or carignan. The sweet fattiness and pungency of the lamb itself echo the inherent sweetness and perfume of the grenache grape, and these same qualities are underlined by the currants, pine nuts and garlic. The deep savoury earthiness of grenache et al is there in the root vegetables, deepened by the addition of butter, and in the dry starchiness of the borlotti beans. And the spicy, stemmy, undergrowthy edge that makes so many grenache-based wines such a joy to drink is picked up by both the rosemary in the stuffing and the braised autumn greens. The only thing to do now is decide which classic wine region you want your grenache wine to come from - one of its spiritual homelands in Europe, such as France's Rhône Valley, or one of Australia's warm veteran grenache-growing districts, such as the Barossa or McLaren Vale.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Mar 2012

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