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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

Pea and ham soup

Shepherd’s pie


Here we've ratcheted up the humble shepherd's pie, replacing the mince with shredded lamb shoulder. The anchovies are a natural salty match to the lamb and add seasoning rather than the fishy flavour you might expect. Embrace and enjoy.

You'll need

2 tbsp olive oil 2 onions, finely chopped 1.6 kg boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 5cm pieces 2 carrots, finely chopped 35 gm (¼ cup) plain flour 3 anchovy fillets 60 ml (¼ cup) Worcestershire sauce 600 gm floury potatoes 200 ml milk 40 gm butter, diced

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 150C. Heat oil in a flameproof casserole over low-medium heat, add onion and cook gently until very tender (8-10 minutes). Add lamb, increase heat to high and brown all over. Add carrot, flour, anchovies and Worcestershire sauce, and cook, stirring occasionally, to cook out the taste of the flour (3-4 minutes). Add and 500ml water, then cover and bake until lamb is tender (3-3¼ hours).
  • 02
  • Cover potatoes with plenty of cold salted water in a saucepan, bring to the boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender (15-20 minutes). Drain, cool for 5 minutes, then peel and press through a potato ricer or a sieve. Heat milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add potato and butter and stir continuously over low heat until smooth. Season to taste.
  • 03
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove lamb from braising liquid and, using 2 forks, coarsely shred, then return to sauce and adjust seasoning. Spoon lamb mixture into a large baking dish and top with mashed potato. Increase oven to 180C and bake pie until potato is golden (15-20 minutes) and serve hot.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

McLaren Vale grenache.

Featured in

Aug 2014

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