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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.

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.

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.

Party pies with homemade tomato sauce


This pastry is inspired by a recipe of Dan Lepard's. The filling, pastry and tomato sauce can all be made ahead, leaving just the assembly to do on the day. The sauce requires a day for the flavours to develop.

You'll need

50 ml vegetable oil 550 gm braising beef such as oyster blade, cut into 2cm pieces For dusting: seasoned plain flour 120 gm mild pancetta, finely chopped 8 golden shallots, coarsely chopped 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 125 ml red wine 600 ml beef stock 125 gm (½ cup) canned crushed tomatoes 2 tbsp thyme ½ tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce For eggwash: lightly beaten egg   Mustard rough puff pastry 450 gm (3 cups) plain flour, plus extra for dusting ¾ tsp baking powder 300 gm butter, chilled, cut into 1cm pieces 60 gm (¼ cup) Dijon mustard   Homemade tomato sauce 1 kg vine-ripened tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped 150 ml malt vinegar ½ onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp celery seeds 1 tsp finely grated ginger 1 clove ½ tsp ground allspice 55 gm (¼ cup) each brown sugar and caster sugar

Method

  • 01
  • For homemade tomato sauce, bring tomatoes, vinegar, onion, garlic, mustard, celery seeds, ginger and spices to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes soften (30-35 minutes). Remove from heat, strain into a separate saucepan, then pass solids through a mouli into pan (see note). Add sugars and 1½ tsp sea salt, return to low heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce is thick and rich (1-1¼ hours). Transfer to a sterilised bottle, cool completely, seal and refrigerate until required. Tomato sauce will keep refrigerated for 2 months. Makes about 400ml.
  • 02
  • Heat half the oil in a casserole or saucepan over medium-high heat. Dust beef in seasoned flour, add to pan and brown all over (3-4 minutes). Transfer to a plate and set aside. Reduce heat to medium, add pancetta, shallots and garlic to pan and sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden (6-8 minutes). Add wine, bring to a simmer, then add stock, tomatoes and half the thyme, return to a simmer, season to taste, then add beef. Reduce heat to low, half-cover with a lid and simmer, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender (2-2½ hours). Remove lid, simmer until sauce thickens (12-15 minutes), then add remaining thyme, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and season to taste. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate until chilled (3-4 hours).
  • 03
  • For mustard rough puff pastry, combine flour, baking powder and 1 tsp sea salt flakes in a bowl. Turn out onto a work surface, scatter butter over and cut into flour mixture with a pastry cutter or knife until roughly mixed but with chunks of butter still visible. Make a well in the centre. Whisk mustard with 190ml iced water, then add to well and mix with a pastry cutter or knife to just combine. Bring pastry together with the heel of your hand, then roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 1.5cm-thick, 50cm x 20cm rectangle. With short edge nearest you, fold bottom third up and top down like a letter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (1 hour). Repeat rolling and folding twice more, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until required.
  • 04
  • Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 3mm thick, then cut out 44 rounds of 9cm diameter (re-roll pastry scraps if necessary). Line 22 x 5cm-diameter pie tins with pastry (we used shop-bought foil pie tins; see tip), then spoon meat mixture into pie cases, heaping slightly in the centre. Brush edges with eggwash, then top with remaining pastry rounds, pressing and pinching edges to seal. Pierce tops to allow steam to escape and refrigerate to rest (30 minutes).
  • 05
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Brush pies with eggwash and bake, swapping shelves halfway through, until golden (30-35 minutes). Serve warm with homemade tomato sauce.

Note In the absence of a mouli, blend the sauce in a food processor and press through a fine sieve.


At A Glance

  • Serves 22 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 22 people

Drink Suggestion

Big Barossa shiraz.

Featured in

Nov 2014

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