Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

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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. 

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.

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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

Pea and ham soup

Cola-glazed ham, creamy potato and egg salad, and pickled onion


Cola?! Before you recoil in horror, trust us - this method of cooking actually results in one of the most complex and delicious hams ever. The side dishes can be made a day or two ahead, the rest is very straightforward. Start this recipe a day ahead to pickle the onion.

You'll need

1 leg or shoulder ham (about 5kg), skin removed, fat scored 1 litre cola 2 cinnamon quills 1 tsp each whole cloves and fennel seeds 3 cardamom pods   Pickled red onion 1 kg red onions, thinly sliced 1 tbsp fine sea salt 1 litre cider vinegar 330 gm (1½ cups) caster sugar 1 tbsp coriander seeds 10 cloves 2 cinnamon quills 3 whole dried chillies   Creamy potato and egg salad 1.2 kg small Dutch cream potatoes, scrubbed 8 eggs 2 egg yolks 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 2 tsp white wine vinegar 250 ml (1 cup) sunflower oil 2 cups (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley

Method

  • 01
  • For pickled red onion, combine onion and salt in a large bowl, cover and set aside at room temperature to soften (2 hours). Stir vinegar, sugar and spices in a saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves, then cool to room temperature. Drain onion in a colander, rinse under cold running water, then combine with vinegar mixture in a non-reactive container and refrigerate to pickle (overnight).
  • 02
  • For creamy potato and egg salad, place potatoes in a saucepan with 1 tsp of salt, cover with cold water, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until tender when pierced with a skewer or small knife (20-25 minutes). Drain and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, place eggs in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil, cook for 5 minutes, then drain and cool under cold running water. For mayonnaise, whisk egg yolks, mustard and vinegar in a bowl until pale and frothy, then add oil in a thin steady stream, whisking continuously until thick and emulsified. Season to taste. Peel potatoes and cut into slim wedges. Peel eggs and cut each into 8 pieces. Combine potatoes, eggs, parsley and mayonnaise in a bowl, stir to combine and refrigerate until required.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Place ham in a large roasting pan or casserole dish with cola and spices and roast for 2 hours, basting with cola every 20 minutes. Remove ham from pan and cover with foil. Transfer pan to stovetop, bring liquid to the boil and reduce to the consistency of maple syrup (25-30 minutes), then brush thickly over ham. Serve at room temperature with creamy potato and egg salad and pickled red onion.

At A Glance

  • Serves 12 - 14 people

At A Glance

  • Serves 12 - 14 people

Drink Suggestion

Rich amber ale. Or cola.

Featured in

Dec 2014

Recipes (14 )

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