Dave Verheul's dinner party menu: $30 for six people

To start: Raw bonito, lemon, sesame and watercress.
To start: Raw bonito, lemon, sesame and watercress. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

Entree: Raw bonito, lemon, sesame and watercress

whole bonito (about 600g)

1 lemon, zest and juice

sesame oil

25g sesame seeds

50g watercress leaves

1. Fillet a whole bonito (or ask your fishmonger to remove the two fillets) and slice each fillet into as many four-millimetre thick slices as you can.

2. Arrange the bonito slices on a plate. Make a dressing from the juice of the lemon and the sesame oil, and season it well. Toast off the sesame seeds until they are lightly golden.

3. Dress the bonito with the sesame-lemon dressing, arrange the watercress leaves around the fish, and finish with the toasted sesame seeds and lemon zest.


Main: Beef ossobuco, brown rice, fennel and cavolo nero soup

1kg beef ossobuco

salt and pepper to season

4 tbsp vegetable oil

1 carrot, sliced

400g brown rice

2 onions, sliced

6 cloves garlic, sliced

2 bay leaves

1 bunch cavolo nero, sliced

1 head fennel, sliced

1 bunch parsley, chopped

1 lemon zest

* Save all of the trim from the onions, garlic and fennel.

1. Season the beef well with salt and pepper. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large pot and sear the beef for two minutes on all sides. Remove the beef from the pot and pour out the oil. Put the seared beef back into the pot and cover it with water. Add the carrot and the reserved vegetable trim, bring to the boil, skim well and simmer for about 1½to 2 hours, until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone.

2. Let it cool for 30 minutes then remove and shred the beef.

3. Pass the stock through a fine sieve.

4. Wash the rice under cold running water until the water runs clear.

5. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large pot. Saute the onions and garlic until they are lightly caramelised, then add the reserved beef stock, washed rice and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and cook until the rice is soft; it needs to go past al dente to soft and well cooked. You may need to add some water at this point to reach a broth consistency.

5. Add the cavolo nero and fennel, cook until tender, then add the shredded ossobuco and take off the heat. Add the chopped parsley and lemon zest, and season well.

Dessert: Dried pear and brown sugar parfait

1 packham pear


300ml evaporated milk

70g brown sugar

Caramel sauce

150g brown sugar

75ml evaporated milk

1. Cut the pear in half vertically and remove the stem. Using a mandolin (or sharp knife), cut the pear into 12 slices, each 1.5 millimetres thick. Lay the slices on a lined baking tray and dry in an oven at 50C for 1½ hours. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

2. For the parfait, refrigerate the evaporated milk overnight, or for a minimum of 12 hours. Using an electric mixer, mix the milk in a large bowl, add the sugar and whip until it triples in volume. Put the mixture in a suitable container and freeze for at least four hours or overnight.

3. For the caramel sauce, cook the sugar and 30 millilitres of water in a small pot until it starts to caramelise. Carefully add the evaporated milk, then chill.

4. To finish, lay six slices of dried pear on a plate, place a chunk of the brown sugar parfait on top, spoon a little caramel sauce over and finish by placing another pear crisp on top.