Friday, August 8, 2014

The Word is Mum

Last Sunday, I had the great pleasure of sampling the wares of mum foods, a fledgling farmer's market business run by Geoff Ellis and Matti Bills. I like to think of Geoff and Matti as the next generation of passionate chefs - who care deeply about the food they're serving and about supporting their own food community through local sourcing. They are offering a short menu of locally sourced, very high quality food at the Cedar Park Farmer's Market on Saturdays and at the Mueller Market on Sundays, including their signature wagyu brisket, luscious wagyu pastrami, chicken liver pâté, wagyu brisket rillettes, homemade brioche, jarred tomatoes, and homemade mustard (menu varies from week to week, but pretty much anything you get from them is going to be great, so I'd encourage you not to worry too much about what's on the menu that day).

For starters, I tried the special of the day, their wagyu pastrami sandwich - a gorgeous creation anchored by homemade brioche that is lightly toasted on the grill with wagyu drippings (!!!), giving it an incredible, buttery smokiness that I've never tasted in bread before. Next, they spread a layer of their homemade mustard, which has a nice bite that leans a little more toward horseradish than your typical ground mustard. Atop that, a bed of spicy arugula, then a glorious layer of their wagyu pastrami, hot off the grill.

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Every sandwich is made to order by Geoff

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Pastrami goodness in progress

As if that weren't enough, a layer of homemade red sauerkraut is added, then homemade pickled jalapenos. With each layer, I kept asking Geoff, "You made that, too?" To which he finally replied, "There's no point in being out here unless we're going to do this right."

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Well, this sandwich was about as right as it gets. I was so laser-focused on its charms that my husband ate nearly all of the large portion of brisket we bought before I was able to tear myself away from the sandwich long enough to take a bite (it too was excellent).

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Don't worry, this was not all ours.

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We also managed to come away with a loaf of their brioche, a jar of mustard, a jar of chicken liver pâté (made with Smith & Smith chicken livers), and a jar of wagyu brisket rillettes (made with Strube Ranch wagyu beef). The next day, I broke out the pâté and the rillettes and was completely blown away by the amount of rich flavor they were able to pack into these tiny jars. Most of the chicken liver pâté I've had was lighter in flavor and texture; this pâté was much deeper and more developed, and so filling that I could only eat a few bites. As for the rillettes, the best way I can describe them is if you were somehow able to take all the flavor of an expertly-made brisket - smoke ring and all - and somehow distill it down into a wonderful spreadable substance, you'd have these rillettes. The term "wagyu butter" sprang to mind as I was eating these - they are that decadent.

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Look for mum foods at the markets every weekend - Cedar Park on Saturdays, Mueller on Sundays. And don't go too late; word is spreading fast, and they've been selling out every day!

**BREAKING** Mum posted their menu for August 8th and 9th on their Facebook page and gave me permission to post it. Um, helloooooo French toast...

Photo by mum foods

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