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Aløft

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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.

Marron with brandade, potato croquettes and orange caramel


"We loved the red claw dish at Boucher in Brisbane. Please ask the kitchen if they'll share their recipe."
Lorna Ashford, Middle Park, Vic

REQUEST A RECIPE
To request a recipe, email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

You'll need

4 live red claw marrons (about 300gm each) (see note) To serve: micro-parsley   Croquettes 1 kg (about 4) sebago potatoes, scrubbed 3 egg yolks 220 gm parmesan, finely grated 110 gm (3/4 cup) plain flour, seasoned 3 eggs, lightly beaten 110 gm (3/4 cup) dried breadcrumbs For deep-frying: vegetable oil   Brandade 300 gm piece of salt cod, soaked in cold water for 48 hours, with water changed every 12 hours 500 ml (2 cups) milk 150 gm (about 1) Desiree potato, peeled and halved 50 gm diced butter, at room temperature 3 golden shallots, finely diced 1 garlic clove, crushed ½ long red chilli, seeds removed, finely diced 300 ml pouring cream   Orange caramel 100 gm caster sugar Juice of 2 oranges 2 tbsp cider vinegar

Method

  • 01
  • Kill marron humanely, then, in a large saucepan of boiling water, cook until red (5-7 minutes). Remove and submerge in iced water to stop the cooking process. Drain, separate heads from bodies (reserve claws, discard heads). Using scissors, cut the underside of the tail and pull out the meat. Crack claws with the back of a knife and gently bend the claw backwards to release the meat. Refrigerate meat until required.
  • 02
  • For croquettes, preheat oven to 180C. Bake whole potatoes on a baking tray lined with baking paper until tender (50 minutes 1 hour), cool slightly (15-20 minutes), then halve, scoop out flesh (discard skins) and pass through a ricer or sieve. Mix in egg yolks one at a time, then gradually stir in parmesan. Mould tablespoonfuls of mixture into ovals, place on a tray and refrigerate to set (1 hour).
  • 03
  • For the brandade, drain the salt cod, discarding liquid. Heat the milk in a saucepan over low heat, add salt cod and poach until tender (8-10 minutes), drain and discard milk. Flake fish (discard bones and skin) and set aside. Meanwhile, bring potato to the boil in a saucepan of cold, salted water over high heat. Cook until just tender when pierced with a knife (12-15 minutes), turn off heat and drain. Return potato to pan over heat, cover with lid and shake to soften edges and break up, then gradually beat in half the butter with a wooden spoon until smooth. Set aside. Heat remaining butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add shallot, garlic and chilli and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (4-6 minutes). Add cod and cream, then mashed potato and mix until smooth and season to taste. Keep warm.
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, for orange caramel, heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add caster sugar and swirl pan occasionally until sugar melts and forms a caramel (7-8 minutes). Add orange juice, cider vinegar and a pinch of salt (be careful, hot caramel will spit), stir to dissolve, then keep warm.
  • 05
  • To finish croquettes, place flour, egg and breadcrumbs in separate bowls, coat croquettes first in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, and then a second time in egg and breadcrumbs, shaking off excess in between. Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan over high heat to 180C, deep-fry croquettes in batches until golden and cooked through (3-4 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Drain on paper towels, season with sea salt flakes and keep warm.
  • 06
  • To serve, spread brandade on plates, top with marron and croquettes, drizzle with caramel, scatter with micro-parsley and serve hot.

Note Start this recipe two days ahead to soak the salt cod. Red claw marrons are available from select fishmongers.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Oct 2014

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