Meat mar­ket

delicious - - CONTENTS -

Chicken thighs prompt a lively de­bate.

THE AV­ER­AGE AUS­TRALIAN DINER

may not know Mel­bourne-based ar­chi­tect Pas­cale Gomes-McNabb by name, but they’ve cer­tainly heard of the restau­rants she’s had a hand in bring­ing to life. In de­sign­ing high-pro­file es­tab­lish­ments such as the orig­i­nal Cut­ler & Co. and Cu­mu­lus Inc. in Mel­bourne, Syd­ney’s Bent­ley Restau­rant & Bar, Cir­rus and Monopole, and SA’s Pen­folds Mag­ill Es­tate Restau­rant (to name but a few), she’s had a hand in the way Aus­tralians dine at the top end of town.

We’re gath­ered at Pas­cale’s latest masterpiece – the North Mel­bourne ter­race she calls home – to break in her new digs (not that these guys need much of an ex­cuse to pop a bot­tle of Cham­pagne). It’s full of her sig­na­ture dark met­als, con­trast­ing tex­tu­ral fin­ishes and pops of colour by way of bower­bird cu­rios.

The guests in­clude chef Matt McCon­nell of Bar Lour­inhã; his wife and busi­ness part­ner, Jo Gamvros; close friend Linda Jones of Ali­men­tari; Felix All­sop of cock­tail bar The Ever­leigh; his mate Joe Jones from cock­tail bar Romeo Lane and restau­rant The May­fair… and yours truly.

Matt’s eclectic Latin-spiked cui­sine dis­plays an ease and gen­eros­ity of flavour, with an un­com­pli­cated style that be­lies the ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence he’s picked up from his trav­els and years spent over­seas. “Fun is kind of cru­cial,” he adds.

Cock­tails are mixed by former chef Joe Jones, who has built his drinks ca­reer on el­e­gantly sim­ple bev­er­ages with clas­sic roots and min­i­mal fuss.

There’s a sign at Bar Lour­inhã that reads ‘Good Times’, and those are cer­tainly had ev­ery time these friends get to­gether.

CORN CRISPS, STEAK TARTARE & SMOKED HER­RING ROE SERVES 8 AS A CANAPE

You will need a pasta ma­chine for this recipe.

1/4 tsp dry gar­lic gran­ules 180g best-qual­ity Wagyu top­side,

very finely diced Finely grated zest of 1 lemon 2 tbs lemon thyme leaves 2 tbs lemon-in­fused olive oil

(sub­sti­tute ex­tra vir­gin olive oil) Avruga black ‘caviar’ (a fish prod­uct made from smoked her­ring – from gourmet food shops and se­lected fish­mon­gers, sub­sti­tute caviar or roe), to serve

CORN CRISPS (SUB­STI­TUTE STORE BOUGHT)

1/2 cup (75g) plain flour 75g fine po­lenta, plus ex­tra to dust

Pre­heat the oven to 190°C. Grease 2 bak­ing trays.

For the corn crisps, com­bine flour, po­lenta and a pinch of salt flakes in a bowl. Make a well in the cen­tre and pour in 1/3 cup (80ml) wa­ter. Us­ing a wooden spoon, stir to form a soft dough. Cover the sur­face di­rectly with plas­tic wrap and set aside for 30 min­utes to rest.

Di­vide rested dough into 6 even pieces and lightly dust each with po­lenta. Start on the thick­est set­ting of your pasta ma­chine. Work­ing with 1 piece of dough at a time, run dough through 3 times, fold­ing in half each time, un­til elas­tic. Now roll the dough once through each set­ting, with­out fold­ing, re­duc­ing the thick­ness each time, un­til you reach set­ting 6. Place dough on a pre­pared tray and re­peat with re­main­ing dough.

Bake for 8-10 min­utes or un­til light golden and crisp. Cool on a wire rack, then break into large shards.

Mean­while, to make the steak tartare, us­ing a mor­tar and pes­tle, crush gar­lic gran­ules to a fine pow­der. Trans­fer to a bowl with beef, lemon zest, thyme, oil, 2 tsp salt flakes and a pinch of freshly ground black pep­per. Toss well to com­bine.

Trans­fer the steak tartare to a chilled serv­ing bowl. Ar­range the corn crisps on a plat­ter and serve with the tartare and Avruga.

“COCK­TAILS ARE FOR DRINK­ING, NOT OVERTHINKING. KEEP IT SIM­PLE WITH NO MORE THAN THREE OR FOUR IN­GRE­DI­ENTS THAT EV­ERY­ONE LOVES.” – JOE JONES

SCAL­LOP, LARDO, SMOKY CHILLI SERVES 4 AS A STARTER

12 scal­lops, cleaned, in the half shell 1 tsp olive oil 6 thin slices lardo (lard-based cured meat – sub­sti­tute pancetta), halved length­ways, cut into 7cm strips

SMOKY CHILLI

6 long red chill­ies

1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil 1 small gar­lic clove, crushed 1 tbs sherry vine­gar

1/4 tsp ground all­spice Pinch of ground chipo­tle (from

good gro­cers)

For the smoky chilli, heat a char­grill pan to high heat. Toss chill­ies in oil and grill, turn­ing half­way, for 5 min­utes or un­til blis­tered. Trans­fer to a zip-lock bag and stand for 10 min­utes. Peel chill­ies, dis­card­ing seeds, and chop. Trans­fer to a bowl, stir through re­main­ing in­gre­di­ents and a pinch of salt flakes, and set aside. Pre­heat oven to 220°C. Driz­zle scal­lops (in their shells) with oil. Place on a bak­ing tray and roast for 3- 4 min­utes or un­til just cooked through.

Ar­range lardo slices on scal­lops. Top with smoky chilli and serve im­me­di­ately.

WHIT­ING CRUDO WITH RADISH SERVES 4-6 AS A STARTER

Juice of 3 limes

1/ 3 cup (80ml) ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 350g sashimi-grade whit­ing,

very thinly sliced 2 kaf­fir lime leaves, shred­ded 2 radishes, very thinly sliced

(we used a man­do­line) 1 small red chilli, seeds re­moved,

cut into thin match­sticks Co­rian­der sprigs and snow pea ten­drils

(op­tional), to serve

To make the dress­ing, place lime juice and oil in a bowl, sea­son and whisk un­til well com­bined.

Ar­range whit­ing on a chilled serv­ing plat­ter. Scat­ter with kaf­fir lime leaf, radish,

BEE­HIVE PUNCH MAKES 6 CUPS

100ml runny honey 300ml Lon­don Dry gin Juice of 2 le­mons Juice of 1 pink grape­fruit, plus grape­fruit slices to serve 1/ 2 tsp An­gos­tura Bit­ters 2 cups (500ml) Cham­pagne Fen­nel fronds (op­tional), to serve

To make the honey syrup, com­bine the honey and 100ml boil­ing wa­ter in a heat­proof bowl and whisk to com­bine. Chill un­til needed.

Com­bine honey syrup, gin, lemon juice, grape­fruit juice, bit­ters and a hand­ful of ice in a large con­tainer with a fit­ted lid. Cover and shake un­til chilled and aer­ated.

Place 1 large block of ice in a punch­bowl (make this by freez­ing wa­ter in an ice cream con­tainer). Pour over gin mix­ture, then Cham­pagne. Scat­ter with grape­fruit slices and fen­nel fronds, if us­ing, to serve.

TE­QUILA NE­GRONI MAKES 1 COCK­TAIL

11/ 2 tbs each blanco te­quila, fino sherry and Cy­nar (bit­ter Ital­ian liqueur – from bot­tle shops, sub­sti­tute Cam­pari) 2 dashes or­ange bit­ters Ice cubes and thickly pared or­ange

zest, to serve

Pour all in­gre­di­ents over ice into a glass. Stir to com­bine. Add zest and serve.

Corn crisps, steak tartare & smoked her­ring roe

Bee­hive punch (recipe p 53).

Te­quila Ne­groni (recipe p 53).

Potato ‘salad’, vine­gar, bot­targa “More of a chunky mashed potato than a salad, but de­li­cious nonethe­less,” says Matt. “Eat it hot, warm or even cold.”

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