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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.

Cuban black beans and rice with pulled beef


Begin this recipe a day ahead to soak the beans.

You'll need

200 gm dried black beans, soaked overnight in cold water, drained 1½ tbsp olive oil ½ small Spanish onion, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 400 gm (2 cups) long-grain white rice 1.25 litres (5 cups) hot chicken stock ½ cup coarsely chopped coriander, plus extra sprigs to serve Juice of 2 limes, plus extra wedges to serve 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil To serve: coarsely chopped pickled jalapeño chillies   Pulled beef 2 tbsp olive oil 1.5 kg piece flank steak (bavette) 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced 1 long green chilli, seeds discarded, thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 tsp each ground cumin and ground coriander 400 gm canned crushed tomatoes 30 gm chipotle chillies in adobo 500 ml (2 cups) beef stock Thinly peeled rind and juice of 1 orange 2 fresh bay leaves 1 tbsp Sherry vinegar

Method

  • 01
  • For pulled beef, preheat oven to 150C. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add steak and brown well all over (4-5 minutes), then transfer to a roasting pan large enough to fit steak snugly. Add onion, chilli and garlic to frying pan, stir occasionally until tender (5-6 minutes), then add spices and stir until fragrant (1 minute). Add tomatoes and chillies in adobo, simmer until reduced by half (3-4 minutes), then add stock, orange rind and juice and bay leaves, and bring to the simmer. Season to taste, pour onto steak, cover tightly with foil and roast until fork tender (3-3½ hours). Remove steak from braising liquid and shred with a fork. Transfer braising liquid to a saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to a thick sauce (5-10 minutes). Add vinegar, adjust seasoning to taste and stir in shredded beef.
  • 02
  • Cover black beans generously with cold water in a saucepan, place over medium-high heat, bring to the boil and cook until just tender (30-40 minutes). Drain and set aside.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic, and sauté until tender (4-5 minutes). Add rice, stir to coat, then add stock, season to taste, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and cook until rice is tender and stock is absorbed (15-20 minutes). Add beans, coriander, lime juice and extra-virgin olive oil, and serve hot with pulled beef, topped with coriander and jalapeños, and with lime wedges alongside.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Dark porter.

Featured in

Jun 2014

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