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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.

Cheeseburgers


The trick to soft buns is minimal handling of the dough, long proving and setting them aside under a cloth to steam after they're cooked - plus a secret ingredient: instant mashed potato. Begin this recipe a day ahead to prove the dough.

You'll need

1.4 kg coarsely minced beef 1 tbsp olive oil 300 gm Gruyère, coarsely grated 240 gm cheddar, coarsely grated To serve: lettuce leaves, tomatoes and Spanish onion   Potato buns 6 gm dried yeast 100 ml milk 600 gm bread flour 50 gm instant mashed potato 50 gm caster sugar 50 gm butter, softened 1 egg yolk, plus one extra whisked with 2 tsp water and a pinch of salt for eggwash For spraying: canola oil spray   Pickled chilli 450 ml white wine vinegar 130 gm caster sugar 30 gm sea salt flakes 8 jalepeños, thinly sliced

Method

  • 01
  • For potato buns, combine yeast, milk and 100ml hot water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and stand until foamy (3-5 minutes). Add flour, sugar, butter, egg yolk, 1 tsp salt and 250ml water, and mix until just combined (3-5 minutes; do not overwork). Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to rest and prove. Knock back dough on a lightly oiled bench by gently gathering the sides and folding it back on itself, then rest again in a lightly oiled bowl covered with a damp tea towel (30 minutes). Gently knock back dough, divide into 8 balls, pulling sides of dough underneath to form smooth tops, then place evenly spaced on a large oven tray lined with baking paper. Spray liberally with canola oil and set aside until almost tripled in volume (1 hour). Preheat oven to 200C and place a small roasting pan half-filled with water at the base. Brush buns with eggwash, spray again with canola spray and bake until puffed, golden and cooked through (20-25 minutes). Set aside covered with a damp cloth to cool and steam.
  • 02
  • For pickled chilli, combine vinegar, sugar and salt, and bring to the boil in a saucepan. Add jalapeño chillies and set aside to cool.
  • 03
  • Preheat grill to high. Shape 170gm portions of beef into patties the same size as the buns and scatter with sea salt. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan and cook the patties in batches, pressing occasionally to keep their shape, to medium-rare (10 minutes), transfer to an oven tray, top with both cheeses and grill until melted (2 minutes).
  • 04
  • Split buns and toast cut-side up under the grill. Spread aïoli over the bases and top with lettuce, tomato, Spanish onion, beef patties and tomato sauce. Serve with pickled chilli.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

Aug 2013

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