Monday, February 27, 2012

Vaca y Vino Trial Run



Got invited to a trial run-through for an upcoming fundraising event on April 22 called Vaca y Vino. It's based on one of the seven classic grilling styles chronicled in Francis Mallman's cookbook of last year, Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way. It was hosted at the Bridges Ranch, a gorgeous spread on the way to Wimberley, off of FM 3237. It is a new event venue for Lambert's and Perla's; also a pristine longhorn cattle ranch...a working ranch at that.
http://bridgesranch.com/



At the event Lou Lambert (Lambert's), Larry McGuire (Lambert's, Perla's, and Elizabeth Street Cafe), and Emmett Fox (Asti, Fino) will roast over oak coals a butterflied whole steer in the "Vaca Entera" style, draped over a custom rig built by Spillar Hitches. Sunday was a test of a half steer, provided by the Texas Beef Council. The lads started cooking the carcass at 8pm the night before. Here's a peek under the cover used to hold in the heat on this slightly chilly yet windy day.



Larry and Lou, tending the monster slab o' meat:



Lou and Emmett:



The primals were removed and slow-cooked separately: strip loin, ribeye roll, and tenderloin, and next to that, heads of escarole lightly grilling.





...there was a great nosh of grilled fresh fava bean pods...zip them open and enjoy the nutty treats inside:



...had some nice Malbec to go with:



...a pile of found deer antlers from the ranch:



...the table set up in the old corral under the monster spreading live oak:



Reina from the excellent Buenos Aires Cafe brought some delicious empanadas: light, flaky pastry encasing a rich filling of beef, garlic and onion, peppers, hard-boiled eggs, raisins, and olives. Their charm did not escape my gaping maw...several times.



Reina also brought a really simple but VERY nice garlicky vegetable-laden soup, perfect to chase away the chill:



....bowls of chimichurri were assembled, using green garlic and parsley straight from the garden, ready to slather on beef:



....sides were a superlative new potato salad:



...and the sweet, charred escarole with red onion, tossed lightly with sherry vinegar and olive oil:



...the slicing commenced and beeforama ensued......



....the way-incredible sausage was made by Lambert's, a chunky, spicy, garlicky blend of beef and pork:



...the complete finished gut-busting plate:



...friend, wine expert, and author Wes Marshall and his lovely better half Emily were across the table and smiling broadly:



...there was a grand finish from Perla's...a truly excellent tres leches cake adorned with fresh strawberries and strawberry sauce:



..here's a shot of the perfectly medium-rare haunch, post-feast:



ALL the chefs performed admirably and the crowd was absolutely gob-smacked. FANTASTIC food, grand setting, interesting crowd or chefs, writers, foodies, friends, ranchers, and what-not, a wonderful experience. When tickets go on sale for the event, DO NOT miss this thing!

By the way, the BEEF???? Freaking fabulous: tender, succulent, juicy, smoky....I could go on, but trust me.

For ticket info (which includes a free bus ride from ATX to the ranch and back), see:
http://vaca.eventbrite.com/

Mick Vann ©

1 comment:

  1. Myself an a friend I tagged on fb are highly jealous lol

    ReplyDelete