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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.

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Cock-a-leekie


You'll need

1.2 kg whole chicken 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1.4 kg (about 4) leeks, thinly sliced 2 celery stalks (300gm), trimmed, thinly sliced 4 thyme sprigs Large pinch of cayenne pepper 2½ litres (10 cups) chicken stock 1 cup (170 gm) pitted prunes 2 tbsp coarsely chopped oregano 2 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley To serve: mini scones or soda bread

Method

  • 01
  • Place chicken, garlic, leeks, celery, thyme, cayenne pepper and 2 litres stock in a 4.5-litre (18-cup) slow-cooker. Cook, covered, over low heat for 8 hours.
  • 02
  • Carefully remove chicken from cooker, shred meat coarsely using two forks (discard skin and bones), then return chicken to cooker with prunes and remaining stock. Cook, covered, over high heat for 30 minutes or until prunes soften and stock is hot. Discard thyme and season to taste. Add oregano and parsley, stir, then serve with mini scones or soda bread.

Note Recipes taken from The Australian Women's Weekly Slow Cooker 4 ($12.95) published by Bauer Media Group, available at selected newsagents and supermarkets. These recipes have been reproduced with minor GT style changes.

OVEN VERSION
Prep + cook time 1½ hours

1 Preheat oven to 180°C.

2 Place chicken, garlic, leek, celery, thyme, cayenne pepper and stock in a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Cover casserole, transfer to oven and cook for 40 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

3 Uncover and carefully remove chicken from casserole. Add prunes, return casserole to oven and cook for 15 minutes until prunes soften and stock is hot.

4 Meanwhile, discard skin and bones from chicken and shred meat coarsely using 2 forks.

5 Remove casserole from oven, discard thyme and season to taste. Stir chicken, oregano and parsley into soup and serve with mini scones or soda bread.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Jul 2014

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