By on February 15, 2016 Texas Two-Taste


Chef Shawn Cirkiel pairs Pedernales Cellars 2010 Tempranillo for the Texas Wine and Trail Magazine Texas Two Taste

Restaurateur & Chef Shawn Cirkiel

Widely recognized as one of Austin’s most creative restaurateurs, Chef Shawn Cirkiel has been impressing area foodies and critics alike since the early 2000s, when he gained the honor of Austin’s youngest five-star chef from the Austin American Statesman. Cirkiel was the first to introduce Austin to the gastro pub concept with his casually sophisticated parkside on Sixth Street. After opening his second widely acclaimed venture the backspace, a Neapolitan-style pizzeria,  Cirkiel treated his food fans across Austin yet again with the anticipated Olive & June an authentic Italian restaurant in the premier Bryker Woods neighborhood.


Since opening the award-winning parkside – known for its impressive oyster selections, raw seafood bar and seasonally rotating menu – Cirkiel has received much media attention, most recently noted in Food Arts Magazine. He has also graced the pages of the Los Angeles Times, American Way magazine, Spirit Magazine, and Cooks Illustrated, just to name a few. Texas Monthly magazine named parkside one of the “Top 10 Best New Restaurants in Texas” in 2009, and Bon Appetit Magazine crowned parkside one of the “Hot 10 New American Taverns” and a top destination for pub cuisine.

This January Chef Shawn Cirkiel was nominated for CultureMap’s 2013 Tastemaker Award.  From managing a restaurant portfolio, hosting events, to attending openings, and accepting awards this amazing talent is a very busy man. Texas Wine and Trail Magazine would like to thank Chef Cirkiel for making time in his schedule for us, to be part of our Texas Two Taste and for helping bring awareness to the Texas wine industry.


Pedernales Cellars is a family-owned and operated boutique winery, specializing in fine, hand-crafted Texas wines, including award-winning Tempranillos and Viogniers. Pedernales Cellars is dedicated to the creation of world-class wines and sustainable practices, with a focus on varietals that can be grown with exceptional quality in Texas Hill Country. Pedernales Cellars began with Larry and Jeanine Kuhlken, who planted their first vineyard near Fredericksburg in the early 1990s. During this time Texas wine pioneers worked with different grape varietals and viticulture practices, to help master winemaking in the Texas terroir; and over time the Kuhlken vineyard started producing consistently high quality fruit with bold, intense flavors.


Pedernales Cellars 2010 Tempranillo

In 2005, Larry and Jeanine’s children, David and Julie – along with their spouses, Heather Kuhlken and Fredrik Osterberg – began plans for what would become Pedernales Cellars. Grown from the success of Kuhlken Vineyards,  they  developed the concept for a boutique winery focused on handcrafted, small-lot wines, and working with varietals that thrive in the rugged Texas Hill Country terrain.

The winery is located in Stonewall, Texas, in the heart of the picturesque Texas Hill Country on the 290 Wine Road, a must-visit destination for wine lovers. Just fifteen minutes east of Fredericksburg, the winery is also a pleasant drive from both Austin and San Antonio.



Tempranillo is a grape varietal that it perfect for Texas Terroir.  Originally from Spain’s Rioja region, tempranillo thrives in the heat of the Texas summer.  Pedernales Cellars 2010 Tempranillo Reserve was recently voted Texas Wine of the Month by Texas Monthly

“Pedernales 2010 Texas Tempranillo exhibits a familiar bouquet of cedar and Texas wildflowers.  Lovely cherry notes on the palate and it finishes with just the right amount of spice.  An up-front presence that does not over power but rather accentuates our Grilled Rabbit Torchon that is accompanied with roasted carrots, carrot puree and green garlic spatzle.” Chef Shawn Cirkiel

Grilled Rabbit Torchon, roasted carrots, carrot puree and green garlic spatzle

Grilled Rabbit Torchon, roasted carrots, carrot puree and green garlic spatzle


1 whole rabbit (de-boned)

1T Espellette Pepper



Vegetable Stock

Remove and debone the front legs of the rabbit, reserving the meat.

Take the reserved meat and grind through a medium die on a grinder.  Season the meat with salt and espelette pepper.

Lay the rabbit flat on plastic wrap, and put the forcemeat down the middle of the rabbit longways.  Tuck the ends of the rabbit in and roll it up(In the restaurant we use activa to adhere the rabbit).  After rolled up place inside of double layer cheesecloth, tying the ends very tight with butchers twine.  Poach in lightly simmering vegetable stock for about thirty minutes or until it reaches 155 degrees internal temperature.  Remove from liquid and allow to chill.

When ready to serve cut slices from the rabbit, season with salt and pepper,  and place on the grill and cook until warmed through

Green Garlic Spaetzle

2 cups AP flour

7 whole eggs

ÂĽ cup Whole Milk

4 g de-hydrated green garlic powder

Combine wet ingredients

Whisk in the dry

Rest the batter for an hour or overnight

Cook the Spaetzle in boiling salted water, when done immediately shock in ice water. Remove and place on towels in order to dry.

Before serving sear in a hot pan with olive oil finish with whole butter and serve

Carrot Crema

2 cups carrot puree

1 cup sour cream


For carrot puree simmer carrots in vegetable stock with a tablespoon of butter until tender.  When done puree in a blender , until smooth and pass through a fine mesh strainer.  After the puree is cooled fold in the sour cream and season with salt.

Article by Leanne Holley, Texas Wine and Trail Magazine

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