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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.

Coda alla vaccinara (slaughtermen’s braised oxtail)


Coda alla vaccinara remains one of the more traditional meat dishes of Rome today - alongside abbacchio al forno (roast suckling lamb).

You'll need

1.2 kg large oxtail pieces 2 tbsp olive oil 30 gm pork back-fat, finely chopped 2 onions, finely chopped 2 celery stalks, finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 200 ml dry white wine 800 ml veal stock 400 ml tomato passata ½ celeriac (about 400gm), cut into 1cm pieces 4 rosemary sprigs 2 fresh bay leaves 1 tsp red wine vinegar Pinch of caster sugar To serve: crusty bread and a simple leaf salad   Gremolata ½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley Finely grated rind of ½ lemon ½ garlic clove, finely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • Combine oxtail in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover, bring to the simmer over medium heat and cook to remove some of the fat (45 minutes). Drain and set aside.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Heat oil in a wide saucepan over high heat, add back-fat and stir occasionally to render (2-4 minutes), remove fat pieces with a slotted spoon (discard), then add onion, celery, carrot and garlic and stir occasionally until golden (10-12 minutes). Deglaze pan with white wine and cook until reduced by half (2-4 minutes). Add oxtail, stock, passata, celeriac, herbs, vinegar and sugar, season to taste, bring to the simmer over low heat, cover closely with a round of baking paper and roast until meat is falling from the bone (1½-2 hours). Remove oxtail and vegetables with a slotted spoon and keep warm, then simmer sauce over medium heat until slightly reduced and flavourful (15-30 minutes).
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, for gremolata, combine ingredients and set aside.
  • 04
  • Return oxtail and vegetables to the pan and serve warm with gremolata, crusty bread and a leaf salad.

Note Pork back-fat is available from butchers.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

A full-bodied red such as a primitivo.

Featured in

May 2011

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