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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. 

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Brae

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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.

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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.

Rabbit with romesco crust


You'll need

40 ml olive oil 2 rabbits (about 1.4kg each), legs and loins removed, bones broken up with a cleaver 6 flat-leaf parsley stalks 2 fresh bay leaves 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock 1 each onion and carrot, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 3 thyme sprigs 110 gm softened butter 60 gm plain flour   Romesco crust 3 red capsicum 4 garlic cloves, halved 6 thyme sprigs 50 ml olive oil 200 gm crustless sourdough bread, coarsely torn 50 gm slivered almonds   Carrot purée 1.5 litres (6 cups) milk 8 carrots, coarsely chopped 6 thyme sprigs 80 gm butter, coarsely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • Heat half the oil in a large saucepan over high heat, add rabbit bones and stir occasionally until well browned (8-10 minutes). Add parsley, bay leaves and 1.25 litres water (or enough to cover), bring to the simmer, reduce heat to medium and simmer until well flavoured (2 hours). Strain and set aside.
  • 02
  • Heat remaining oil in a casserole over medium-high heat, add rabbit legs and cook, turning once, until browned (4-5 minutes). Add rabbit stock, chicken stock, onion, carrot and garlic, season to taste, cover with a lid, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until rabbit is very tender (1½-2 hours). Meanwhile, combine rabbit loins with thyme and 50gm butter in a snap-lock bag and season to taste. Seal bag, extracting all air, and add to casserole for last 15 minutes of cooking.
  • 03
  • For romesco crust, preheat oven to 180C. Char capsicum over an open flame (10-15 minutes), then, when cool enough to handle, peel, remove seeds, coarsely tear and place in a roasting pan. Add garlic and thyme, drizzle with oil, season to taste and roast until dried (20-25 minutes). Transfer to a food processor, add bread and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Season to taste, stir in almonds and set aside.
  • 04
  • Remove loins from snap-lock bag, coarsely shred and place in a bowl. Remove legs from braising liquid, coarsely shred (discard skin, bones and sinew) and add to bowl. Strain braising liquid and liquid from snap-lock bag into a large saucepan, bring to the boil over medium-high heat and reduce to 700ml (20-25 minutes). Stir flour and remaining butter in a bowl to a smooth paste, add to pan and whisk continuously until thick. Season to taste, pour over rabbit meat, stir to combine, then transfer to a 3-litre pie dish. Reduce oven to 160C. Scatter rabbit mixture with romesco crust mixture, place dish on an oven tray and bake until rabbit is bubbling around edges and crust is golden (40-50 minutes).
  • 05
  • Meanwhile, for carrot purée, bring milk, carrot and thyme to the simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium and simmer until tender (40-50 minutes). Remove carrots with a slotted spoon, transfer to a blender, add butter, blend until very smooth, season to taste and serve hot with rabbit pie.
This recipe is from the June 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

“This is one on my favourite winter eats, but we also love to make it at Sweet Envy during Easter as a bit of a giggle,” says Wise. “When customers ask about our Easter selection, it always gets a laugh.” If you don’t have a gas stove, you can char the capsicum on a baking tray in a hot oven.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

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