Main

Main

By
Andrew McConnell
Contains
10 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781743791325
Photographer
Earl Carter

What I enjoy about the dishes in this chapter is that they celebrate the shared table. They can all be served as part of a main meal and are best delivered to the centre of the table in a pan or on a serving plate. Of course they can also be eaten as stand-alone dishes but they’ve been designed with sharing in mind.

When I create a meal I usually start with the main dish protein that I’ve decided to serve and that in turn impacts and informs what I’ll be serving with it, around it and before it. For example, if I’m serving a whole fish, I might start with an offal (variety meat) plate and some pickles, so there isn’t fish all the way through the meal. It’s about creating balance, thinking about how each element works with the others — starting with the central dish and working back from there.

With protein-based dishes I like to cook as much of the protein on the bone as possible — say a half duck, or a lamb shoulder or a whole fish. Cooking this way helps impart the flavour and retain moisture. It’s a style that secondary cuts, like short ribs, respond to really well.

The dishes in this chapter have influences that are very much grounded in China and Japan, but there are European and modern Australian influences here as well. There are some classic European techniques, which have been altered slightly just by bringing in other flavours like miso and soy sauce which, when used correctly, can add another dimension to a dish without killing it and turning it into a heavy-handed fusion bomb. It’s all about understanding and respecting the origins of a dish.

Recipes in this Chapter

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