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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. 

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.

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.

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.

Roast turkey with freekah and pancetta stuffing


This turkey brings together a traditional brining technique and a modern freekah stuffing. It's great served with sautéed green beans and roast kipfler potatoes. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

You'll need

165 gm (¾ cup) caster sugar 185 gm (¾ cup) fine sea salt 1 onion, coarsely chopped 1 leek, coarsely chopped 1 head of garlic, halved horizontally 1 bay leaf sprig 1 bunch thyme 1 tbsp white peppercorns 1 turkey (about 4kg) 60 gm softened butter 750 ml dry cider 50 ml apple cider vinegar 300 ml chicken stock   Freekah and pancetta stuffing 350 gm (1½ cups) cracked green-wheat freekah 2 tbsp olive oil 120gm flat pancetta, cut into batons 1 Spanish onion, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 cups (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 2 lemons, finely grated rind and juice only

Method

  • 01
  • Combine sugar, salt and 8 litres water in a small stockpot over medium heat, stir to dissolve, then add onion, leek, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and peppercorns. Remove from heat, cool completely, add turkey, place a plate on top to fully submerge and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 180C. For freekah and pancetta stuffing, cook freekah in boiling salted water until tender (10-15 minutes), drain. Spread on a large tray and cool completely. Meanwhile, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add pancetta and sauté until golden (5-7 minutes). Add onion and garlic, sauté until golden (5-7 minutes), then transfer to a large bowl. Add parsley, lemon rind and juice and freekah, season to taste, set aside.
  • 03
  • Remove turkey from brine, pat dry with absorbent paper, spoon stuffing into cavity, truss legs with kitchen twine and tuck wing tips under backbone. Place on a wire rack placed in a roasting tray, rub with butter, add cider to roasting tray, roast until golden and cooked to your liking, basting occasionally (1 hour 45 minutes for cooked breast and just-cooked thigh; 2 hours for well-done breast and thigh).
  • 04
  • Remove turkey from pan, cover loosely with foil and rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place pan over medium heat, deglaze with vinegar, then add stock and simmer over medium heat until reduced to sauce consistency (8-10 minutes). Season to taste, strain through a fine sieve into a serving jug. Carve turkey and serve with sauce.

For the perfect Christmas turkey, keep these simple tips in mind for best results every time:

It's worth seeking out a free-range bird if you can, ideally one that hasn't been frozen.

If frozen is all that's available, thaw your turkey in the refrigerator, allowing 1-3 days to thaw completely, depending on size.

Bring your turkey to room temperature before roasting, allowing 1-2 hours depending on size.

For a juicy breast (and just-cooked thigh) allow 1 hour 45 minutes at 180C. For a well-done breast and thigh allow 2 hours at the same temperature.

Resting time is essential, allowing the juices to settle. Cover with foil and stand in a warm place for at least 10 minutes and up to 45 minutes.


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Top-quality grenache blend.

Featured in

Dec 2009

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