This edition of Texas Wine and Trail Magazine’s Texas Two Taste includes Fonda San Miguel restaurant in Austin, Texas Chef Terry Thompson-Anderson, and Sandstone Cellars Winery in Mason. We would like to thank both contributors for working together to create a perfect pairing with Sandstone Cellars Winery.
Terry Thompson-Anderson is a professional chef, cookbook author, culinary instructor, and restaurant consultant. She has written seven cookbooks, including Cajun-Creole Cooking, which has become an iconic work for anyone interested in the cuisines of South Louisiana; Eating Southern Style; The Texas Hill Country – A Food and Wine Lover’s Paradise; and the award-winning Texas on the Plate, a celebration of Texas food and wine, in addition to writing Don Strange of Texas -His Life and Recipes, with Frances Strange. Terry is currently working on a major work book on the many faces of Texas food and wine for the University of Texas Press.
Terry is the Editor of The Texas Food and Wine Gourmet.com website and developed the Texas on the Plate food product line for Cookwell & Company. She serves on the Advisory Board for Edible Austin magazine (and also writes a regular wine feature for the publication), and the Board of Directors of the Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts in Fredericksburg, Texas. Terry lives in Fredericksburg with her husband Roger, 15 chickens, an Alaskan Tundra wolf, and a spoiled cat. Terry and Roger are avid wine lovers, vegetable gardeners, and herb and chile growers.
Austin, Texas’ Fonda San Miguel is recognized as one of the finest interior Mexican restaurants in the country. Opened in 1975, Fonda San Miguel has garnered both regional and national accolades for Chef Miguel Ravago’s menu of classic regional Mexican cuisine and the legendary Sunday Hacienda Brunch Buffet. Prepared with authentic recipes and ingredients, Fonda San Miguel’s signature dishes include the Pollo En Mole Poblano, a baked chicken in the traditional mole of Puebla, Cochinita Pibil, a Yucatan specialty of pork baked in banana leaf, and the Pescado Veracruzano, a broiled fish fillet in the traditional Vera Cruz tomato sauce with capers, onions and Spanish olives. Guests also enjoy indulging in one of Fonda San Miguel’s Silvercoin Margaritas at the wildly popular all night Tuesday Happy Hour, or pairing their meal with a glass from the restaurant’s award winning wine list.
Considered by many as “Austin’s most beautiful restaurant,” owner Tom Gilliland’s collection of museum quality artwork, exotic plants, and international décor items complete the exquisite dining experience. The restaurant is a celebration of distinctive cuisine, a colorful history, and the transforming influence it has had on Tex-Mex dens across the country, where culinary connoisseurs, art lovers, visiting celebrities, and guests of the local Mexican consulate all come to partake and enjoy. Dinner at Fonda San Miguel is served Monday through Thursday from 5:30pm to 9:30pm, and Friday and Saturday from 5:30pm to 10:30pm. Sunday brunch is served from 11:00am to 2pm.
Terry Thompson-Anderson’s pairing suggestion is with Fonda San Miguel’s Cordero and Sandstone Cellars Winery 2009 X.
“At Sandstone Cellars we’ve had a nine year journey using only Mason County grapes and fusion blending to craft wines with balance, complexity, and structure, expressing Mason County terroir. Our first vintage in 2004 was a Syrah based wine and we’ve continued to include Syrah, in varying amounts, in some of our wines. The growing season in 2009 yielded wines with nice extraction and complexity. The Sandstone Cellars 2009 X is a blend of predominantly Syrah (80%) with Touriga (15%) and Nebbiolo (5 %) and it is developing nicely. Although we are not looking to duplicate a wine from another region, the X has developed similarities to a northern Rhone.” Don Pullam, Winemaker.
Sandstone Cellars Winery is located in Mason, Texas and is owned by Scott Haupert and Manny Silerio, with winemaker Don Pullam. In 2004, Haupert and Silerio who were best friends from college invited winemaker Don Pullam to create his wine blends from the wonderful grape producing vineyards that surrounded the Mason area under the Sandstone Cellars label. It is a boutique winery located just off the town square, and can be visited from Thursday through Sunday, opening at 11AM.
”I have chosen the appetizer that Fonda San Miguel calls Corderos on their menu. It consists of grilled baby lamb chops napped with a divine, subtly spicy sauce made from chipotle and ancho chiles, two of my favorite in the chile kingdom. To pair with the lamb I would choose The Sandstone Cellars Winery (Mason, Texas) 2009 X, a blend of syrah, touriga, and nebbiolo. The wine has a nose of black currant, coffee, grill char, black pepper, and dark berries. On the palate the notes of black pepper, black currant, and blackberries in a medium-heavy body with great minerality pairs beautifully with the earthy flavors and char-grill flavors of the lamb. The tannic properties of the touriga in the blend give the wine good structure to handle the slight heat of the chiles. The flavor of the chipotle chile has a smoky, slightly sweet flavor with tobacco and chocolate nuances and a subtle, deep rounded heat. The ancho chile is a slightly sweet chile with a mild fruit flavor and tones of coffee, liquorice, tobacco, dried plum, and raisin, with a hint of woody earth. Both of these chiles pair well with the flavors of the wine.” Terry Thompson-Anderson
An ardent supporter of the Slow Food movement, Tom is a stickler for serving customers only the best quality ingredients available. The meat for these delicious lamb chops comes from the Jamison Farms in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The lamb is grass-fed as well as hormone, pesticide, and antibiotic free. Miguel serves this dish with Chipotle Potato Gratin and a mixed green salad.
24 2 ½-ounce loin lamb chops; olive oil to coat
½ cup corn oil
7 dried chipotle chiles, seeds and veins removed
2 ancho chiles, seeds and veins removed
¼ cup coarse sea salt
¼ cup dried Mexican oregano, toasted
Prepare the Chipotle Rub. Heat corn oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Fry the chiles, 1 or 2 at a time, turning once, until they puff up and brown, about 10 to 15 seconds each. Do not allow them to burn, or the rub will be bitter. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside until chiles are cool and crisp. (You can either discard the oil or save it in a jar to flavor soups, stews, and sauces.)
Once the chiles have cooled, grind them in batches in a spice grinder until they are a fine powder. Combine the ground chiles, garlic, salt, and toasted oregano in a food processor and process until the mixture is coarse and salt-like. If the rub seems wet, spread it in an even layer on a baking sheet and allow it to dry in a cool (150-degree) oven until it is no longer moist, about 1 hour. Break up any lumps with your fingers.
Preheat a gas grill to 350 degrees. Rub the meat with olive oil and a generous portion of the Chipotle Rub. Place chops on the grill and cool for 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned on one side. Turn and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes for medium. Serves 6.
Article by Leanne Holley, Texas Wine and Trail Magazine