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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Confit duck, onion and bean soup with persillade


You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

You'll need

4 onions, thinly sliced 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 2 carrots, finely chopped 2 celery stalks, finely chopped 150 gm (¾ cup) dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water, drained 2 litres (8 cups) chicken stock   Duck confit 4 duck Marylands (about 300gm each) 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 4 thyme sprigs 2 tbsp coarse sea salt 1.2 kg (4 cups) duck fat (see note)   Persillade 1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil 1 tbsp red wine vinegar 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • For duck confit, pat duck dry with absorbent paper and place in a non-reactive tray. Scatter over garlic and thyme, then sea salt, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cured (6 hours-overnight). Preheat oven to 150C. Rinse salt from duck under cold running water and pat dry. Place in a deep roasting pan, cover with duck fat and roast until meat is falling from the bone (3 hours). Set aside to cool slightly (10-15 minutes), then transfer duck legs to a non-reactive sterilised container, pour over fat and refrigerate until required. Duck confit will keep for 2 weeks as long it is completely submerged in fat.
  • 02
  • For persillade, combine ingredients in a bowl and season to taste.
  • 03
  • Heat 2 tbsp duck fat in a large saucepan over low-medium heat, add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until caramelised (10-12 minutes). Add carrot and celery and stir occasionally until tender (5 minutes). Add cannellini beans and chicken stock, increase heat to high and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until beans are tender (2 hours).
  • 04
  • Remove duck from fat and coarsely shred meat from the bone. Add meat to soup and simmer until combined (20 minutes). Ladle soup into bowls and serve drizzled with persillade.

Note Duck fat is available from select delicatessens and French produce shops.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Jun 2011

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