PAIRING IS CARING
EATING WITH THE SEASONS IS THE GOAL, BUT SOMETIMES MOTHER NATURE SURPRISES US
WORDS: A LAST AIR MCLEOD PHOTO: RENAE DROOP STYLING: LYNDE L MILLER Chefs earnestly espouse adhering to the seasons. They extol beef cheeks and brassicas in winter and advocate asparagus and avocado now. These harbingers of the new season are, of course, best enjoyed as the cooler days yield to spring. Here’s the rub: from a food perspective, seasons don’t fall into neat, three-monthly blocks. Ingredients are waxing and waning all the time, which can unearth some fantastic combinations. Truffles are just winding up their short season at around the same time as Lockyer Valley Dutch cream potatoes kick in. When paired, each of these ingredients elevates the other. Thank you, Mother Nature.
BRAISED HASSELBACK POTATOES, BACON AND TRUFFLE
INGREDIENTS 1kg small potatoes, skin on (about 12 potatoes) 100g unsalted butter Sea salt and freshly milled pepper 3 rashers streaky bacon 200ml pure cream 150ml chicken stock 3 garlic cloves, crushed 2tsp finely grated lemon zest 1tsp chopped rosemary 1 small truffle METHOD Preheat oven to 200C. Cut each potato widthways in ½cm cuts, going three-quarters of the way through the potato. Toss the butter into a large, heavy-based fry pan over medium-high heat. Once it melts, add the potatoes. Season generously. Fry gently for 15 mins, spooning the butter over throughout. Turn potatoes to ensure they cook evenly. At this point they should be half cooked. Remove from the pan, return pan to the flame and fry bacon rashers until crisp and golden, then remove from the pan. Return potatoes to the pan, cutside up. Add the cream, stock, garlic, lemon zest, rosemary and season generously. Bring to the boil then place in preheated oven for 10 mins, until the potatoes are cooked through. Strew with torn bacon and return to oven for a further 5 mins. Remove from oven and shave truffle over food. Alastair Mcleod is chef and co-owner of Al’Freshco.alfreshco.com.au