“From farm to table” is a phrase we don’t hear often enough. This weekend, I had a chance to experience it…on the farm itself. Slow Food South Texas hosted a Farm Dinner at South Texas Heritage Pork in Floresville. Thanks to my trip to Jason Dady’s Pop Up Farmer’s Market and Feast, I was able to attend this incredible dinner designed and cooked by Chef Steven McHugh of Lüke. In addition to the amazing food, guests were able to wander the farm, talk to the owners, have a few beers, and enjoy the gorgeous scenery laid out before them.
While the guests mingled and enjoyed beers from Alamo Beer Company, plates of appetizers started making their way around. Deviled eggs with crabmeat, oxtail sliders, and fried oysters were a definite hit with people trying to spot the next round coming out in order not to miss the tasty treats. While the band began to play, we took our seats and the food began. Lüke’s famous pretzels with a twist – instead of mustard or butter, a whipped bacon fat with apples and jalapeno. I know my heart probably didn’t love it, but the whipped bacon fat was amazing. Soon, a selection of various pates (made from pork of course) and pickles appeared. I’m not a huge fan of pate, but I did taste them all – they tasted good, I’m just not over the top with my love for pate. The pickles were delicious though, particularly the mustardy cauliflower pickle.
The main course was a Chef McHugh masterpiece. A spicy gumbo made with smoked pork (probably the best smoked pork I’ve ever had), andouille sausage, and rooster. Served with rice, corn bread with tasso, and some amazing collard greens; this dish was awesome. The smoked pork alone would have been enough for me, but everything combined was mind-numbingly delicious.
What made the dinner extra special for me was being seated next to Kelley Escobedo, owner of the farm. The hospitality is always best when you’re with the hosts! Kelley was fun to chat with and learning the story behind the farm and their decision to become farmers (she didn’t grow up a farmer) was really cool. I peppered her with questions about pork and pigs and she was more than happy to answer them all. It was also fun to watch her enjoy Chef McHugh’s take on her product. A seat like that usually gets reserved for VIPs, so I’m not sure how I wound up with it, but I certainly felt like one!
So check out South Texas Heritage Pork (they’re on Facebook too) and check them out at the Pearl Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. They’re great people with a great pork. I’ll be picking up some for the summertime grill season, it’s worth it.