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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.

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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.

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.

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 tongue sandwiches with charred onion and pickled beetroot


This sandwich is packed with flavour in the form of fragrant tarragon salsa and beetroot pickle - both ideal foils for the richness of the tongue. We've made our own brioche to get a perfectly round small sandwich, but shop-bought brioche rolls would also work well, or cut out rounds from a sliced brioche loaf.

You'll need

1 beef tongue (about 800gm; see note) 2 onions, 1 unpeeled and quartered 1 peeled and sliced into thick rounds 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled, bruised 3 thyme sprigs 1 fresh bay leaf Olive oil, for drizzling Frisée, to serve   Brioche 375 gm plain flour 2 tsp caster sugar 1½ tsp dried yeast 160 ml (2/3 cup) lukewarm milk 5 egg yolks, at room temperature 150 gm butter, diced and softened, plus extra for greasing   Beetroot pickle 150 ml red wine vinegar 50 ml red wine 2 tbsp caster sugar 2 beetroot, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds on a mandolin   Tarragon salsa 1/3 cup firmly packed tarragon 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley 2 tsp capers in vinegar, drained 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped 1 tsp Dijon mustard 120 ml olive oil

Method

  • 01
  • Combine tongue, quartered onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf in a large saucepan, cover with plenty of cold water, season generously with sea salt and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until tongue is very tender when pierced with a skewer (2½-2¾ hours). Drain (discard onion, garlic and herbs) and, when tongue is cool enough to handle, peel (discard skin) and refrigerate tongue in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • 02
  • For brioche, combine flour, sugar, yeast and 1 tsp salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, then add milk and egg yolks, and mix until combined. With mixer on high speed, gradually add butter, kneading until incorporated before adding more. Knead until shiny and elastic (5-6 minutes). Transfer to a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (1-1½ hours). Preheat oven to 180C and butter six 7cm-high, 6.5cm-diameter ring moulds and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Knock back dough, roll into 6 balls and place in moulds. Cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place until risen by half (30-40 minutes). Remove plastic wrap, place baking paper over moulds, then a heavy baking tray and bake until brioche rolls are golden brown and a skewer inserted withdraws clean (10-15 minutes). Cool, then store in an airtight container until required.
  • 03
  • For beetroot pickle, bring vinegar, wine, sugar and 60ml water to the boil in a small saucepan, season to taste, then add beetroot and cool to room temperature.
  • 04
  • For tarragon salsa, process herbs, capers, garlic and mustard in a small food processor until finely chopped, then add oil, process to a purée and season to taste.
  • 05
  • Heat a char-grill pan to high. Drizzle onion rounds with oil, season to taste and grill, turning once, until browned (1-2 minutes each side). Thickly slice tongue across the grain (you won’t need it all), drizzle with oil, season to taste and grill, turning once, to warm through (30 seconds to 1 minute each side).
  • 06
  • To serve, trim tops and bases of brioche, then slice each into three. Toast slices lightly under a hot grill, then top half with tongue, onion, drained beetroot pickle and a drizzle of tarragon salsa. Season to taste, top with frisée, sandwich with remaining brioche slices and serve.

At A Glance

  • Serves 9 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 9 people

Additional Notes

Beef tongue may need to be ordered ahead from a butcher.

Drink Suggestion

Snappy cabernet franc

Featured in

Sep 2016

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