Montesino Farm is one of the world’s special places. We drive there from Austin, rolling our windows down when we get to Wimberley. As the winding roads take us closer, our cares fly out the window. By the time we cross the river and into the enfolding embrace of the ring of hills surrounding the fields, we’re breathing deeper and easier. The sunshine feels mellow and the breeze soft. Melody and David work hard here to bring perfect produce to market and to Farmhouse customers, but their wide smiles are proof that hard work has its rewards. Their knowledgeable hands bring order and beauty to this place, and a sense of peace hangs over the carefully tended earth. Once I get there, and the fire warms me, and I start cutting and chopping beautiful radishes and eggplant from the field, I never want to leave. We sit around after dinner and the children tell us ghost stories. One perfect star rises in the ink dark sky, over the fields and the sleeping animals, and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
Ribeye & Mushroom Stroganoff
adapted from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver
1 ribeye steak, cut thin across the grain into 1″ wide strips
extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
2 cups mixed interesting mushrooms, wiped clean, torn into bite-sized pieces (crimini, shiitake, oyster)
a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped, stalks finely chopped
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 c crème fraîche
Toss the meat with salt, pepper and paprika. Heat oil and butter in a large, heavy Dutch oven or braising pan over medium heat. Brown the meat well in batches and set aside. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms to pan, adding more butter if necessary (do this in batches and set aside with meat as you go if necessary). Saute until beginning to caramelize. Return meat to the pan and add brandy and any accumulated juices from meat and mushrooms. Once everything has simmered together briefly, stir in lemon zest, parsley and creme fraiche and serve with rice or buttered noodles.