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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

Rolled pork belly stuffed with Calvados prunes


The union of pork, apple brandy and prunes is a particularly happy one. Serve this dish with roasted potatoes, potato chips, potato gratin or pretty much anything else potatoey.

You'll need

125 ml Calvados 150 gm pitted prunes 1.6 kg piece of boneless pork belly   Bread stuffing 80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil 1 onion, thinly sliced 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tbsp sherry vinegar 130 gm fresh, fine breadcrumbs from soft white bread 2 tbsp thinly sliced sage leaves

Method

  • 01
  • For bread stuffing, heat oil in a frying pan over low-medium heat, add onion and garlic and sauté until golden (5-6 minutes), then add vinegar and simmer until evaporated (10-20 seconds). Stir through breadcrumbs and sage, season to taste and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, bring Calvados to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add prunes, remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • 03
  • Score pork skin with a knife, place skin-side down on a work surface, with longest side facing you, season to taste, spread with an even layer of stuffing and place prunes in a line along centre. Roll to enclose, tie with kitchen string at 5cm intervals and place in a roasting pan. Rub skin with sea salt, refrigerate to draw out excess moisture (1 hour).
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 250C. Pat excess moisture from pork and roast for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 180C and cook until golden brown and tender (1¼ hours). Slice and serve immediately.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Jul 2009

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