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Go Local. GO TEXAN. TEXAS FOOD, WINE, RESTAURANTS, RECIPES, GARDENING, STYLE & MORE VOL. 6, ISSUE 15 O NOVEMBER 2017

BRISKETU:

WHERE THERE’S SMOKE, THERE’S FIRE! TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE O COMMISSIONER SID MILLER


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WELCOME TO THE NOVEMBER 2017 EDITION OF THE GO LOCAL. GO TEXAN. E-ZINE. In this issue, we highlight BrisketU — a great service that educates Texans on all things barbecue. Texas is the No. 1 cattleproducing state, and we are so blessed with some of the best barbecue around. That’s where BrisketU comes into play; it teaches eager cooks everything they need to become a backyard certified pit master. Since we’re shining a spotlight on meat, we also feature Frontier Meats in this issue. This GO TEXAN member sells direct to consumers, as well as retailers, gourmet markets and schools. If you haven’t tried a wagyu steak or bison meat, there’s no time like the present to sink your teeth into some of their great Texas beef.

As always, we’re happy to show off the wide diversity among our GO TEXAN members. In this issue, you’ll also find articles on a great local craft brewing company — Live Oak Brewing — from Austin, avoiding skimmer fraud at the gas pump, a gingerbread house-making kit that won’t fall apart on your table and so much more. We hope you’ll enjoy this issue. Be sure to share it with your friends, and remember, Texas Agriculture Matters!

Sid Miller is an eighth generation farmer and rancher and the 12th Commissioner of Agriculture for the great state of Texas. Commissioner Miller has devoted his life to the agriculture industry, and supporting Texas producers and the communities they call home. He is a businessman, rancher, community leader, former ag teacher and former school board member. Commissioner Miller is a rodeo cowboy and holds nine world championship titles. He is an honors graduate of Tarleton State University in Stephenville, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Vocational Agriculture Education. He can be reached at Sid.Miller@TexasAgriculture.gov. 3


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BRISKETU: WHERE THERE’S SMOKE, THERE’S FIRE! TEXANS KNOW THEIR BARBECUE! IF YOU’RE BRAVE ENOUGH TO ASK ANY LONE STAR PIT MASTER FOR TIPS ABOUT HOW TO PREPARE A SLOWLY-SMOKED BRISKET, THEN TAKE A SEAT AND GET READY FOR A LONG DAY!

Barbecue is legendary in Texas, and whether you’re sporting a ‘Kiss the Cook’ apron, choosing between mesquite or pecan wood or preparing a secret brisket rub, there’s always something new to learn! Welcome to BrisketU — a class designed to tell you everything you need to know to make the best ‘cue. 5


“BrisketU is built for the casual barbecue enthusiast who wants to know how to smoke a great brisket, without being told they’re ‘doing it wrong,’” said

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owner Mike Albrecht. “BrisketU is the opposite of competitive cooking; it’s laid back, enjoyable and very informative.”


What started as an idea among co-workers quickly morphed into small gatherings among friends who enjoyed the same passion for smoked meat. From

there, Mike began to realize the excitement for the topic, so he and his partners turned their efforts to creating a class to share their love of barbecue with others.

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A website and enthusiastic social create the best possible products,” media campaign followed soon Albrecht said. “Nothing pairs after. better than delicious barbecue and locally brewed beer.” As the project grew, Mike and company began teaming up with In just over 18 months, BrisketU local craft breweries to showcase has graduated more than and pair their interest. 3,000 ‘Certified Backyard Pit Masters.’ Meeting the people “Both brew masters and pit who take the class is the biggest masters share a passion for reward Albrecht experiences hands-on personal attention to with BrisketU.

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Smoking a brisket in Texas is more than cooking great food; it’s a true social event. If you happen to be worried about time, don’t be. It takes hours upon hours to smoke the perfect brisket, which gives the pit master plenty of time to share a few beers along with some Texas tall tales — something our state is certainly famous for!

“I love the camaraderie that we experience in each class and teaching them about all things Texas,” Albrecht said. For more information or to sign up for a class, visit the BrisketU website.

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FRONTIER MEATS: DELIVERING THE BEST IF YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES AND ENVISION TEXAS AGRICULTURE, MANY OF US WILL HAVE A SIMILAR VISION: LONGHORN CATTLE GRAZING ON OPEN PASTURES AND ICONIC COWBOYS DRIVING ENDLESS HERDS OF CATTLE ACROSS THE PLAINS. Established in 1972, Frontier Meats echoes this vision. This Lone Star business is well respected and the only processor still carrying on the legacy of the Fort Worth Stockyards. The company prides itself in providing superior quality meats to distributors, butcher shops and fine restaurants all over the United States and Europe.

President Eric Nauwelaers said. “We handpick a small group of ranches and feedlots to ensure that every animal we receive meets our rigorous specifications, thus ensuring the highest degree of marbling. In this manner, we can supply our customers with tender, juicy and flavorful products with remarkable consistency.”

“At Frontier Meats, our unique When you’re enjoying a delicious, process starts with relationships,” juicy rib-eye, the last thing on your 11


mind is the process. Forgotten are the middle-of-the-night checks during calving season, grinding feed, branding cattle, fixing fences, harvesting crops and the sweltering Texas heat. These are all just part of a day’s hard work. “The life of a cattle rancher isn’t easy, and at Frontier Meats, we have tremendous respect for these individuals,” Nauwelaers said. “They are a tough bunch, 12

dedicated to producing topquality animals, and we are extremely grateful for their efforts.” Today, competition is fierce, and consumers are determined to buy locally produced products. With that said, Frontier Meats has diversified its company to provide a number of different services. One such initiative is their one-stop processing facility for ranchers. Services


include steak cutting, vacuum consumers searching for meat packaging, retail-ready products, products born, raised and dry/wet aging and more. processed in the Lone Star State. We’re proud of our Texas “Our capabilities really heritage, and at Frontier Meats, empower ranchers wishing to we don’t want to be the biggest, process and market their own only the best.” cattle,” Nauwelaers said. For more information on Frontier “Using the GO TEXAN mark Meats, click here. enables us to distinguish our products from our competitors,” Nauwelaers said. “We’re able to generate awareness among 13


ROOTED IN TEXAS PRIDE! DECEMBER IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER AND THAT MEANS IT’S TIME TO START THINKING ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS. WHILE THE LONE STAR STATE IS FAMOUS FOR A NUMBER OF COOL, SEASONAL THINGS, ONE LONG-STANDING TRADITION IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK (AND IN OUR OWN BACKYARD) — HARVESTING YOUR VERY OWN, FRESH-CUT CHRISTMAS TREE. Christmas tree farms are dotted all across Texas. In fact, the time-honored tradition of selecting your very own tree with your entire family is a great way to kick off the Christmas season. With so many locations across Texas, growers are always available to answer questions, provide maintenance tips or show you around to see handmade 14

Lone Star State arts and crafts. One GO TEXAN member that offers plenty of fun family activities and great Christmas trees is the McNew Star Christmas Tree Plantation located in Quinlan, Texas. Please visit their website for a map and other relevant information before visiting.


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Fun Facts about Christmas Trees:

According to USDA, 98 percent of all Christmas trees are grown on farms, while only two percent are cut from the wild. Texas growers plant one to three seedlings for every tree harvested — this ensures enough beautiful trees for future generations to enjoy. Ninety-three percent of real Christmas tree consumers recycle their Christmas trees. Pine needles dry quickly and decompose slowly, making them an excellent source of mold-free mulch. To locate the nearest Christmas tree farm to you, visit gotexan.org or check out the Texas Christmas Tree Growers Association website.

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GINGERHAUS: THE GINGERBREAD ARCHITECTS LEE SHEPHERD SAW A WILLIAMSBURG INN REPLICA GINGERBREAD HOUSE AT A FAMILY GATHERING AND WANTED TO MAKE HER OWN; HOWEVER, WHEN SHE TRIED TO MAKE ONE LATER AT HOME WITH HER CHILDREN, IT WAS A DISASTER, UNABLE TO SUPPORT ITS OWN WEIGHT AND ULTIMATELY COLLAPSING UNDER HUMIDITY. THEN SHE CAME UP WITH GINGERHAUS® TO MAKE SURE THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN AGAIN. Each kit comes with everything you need to bake, decorate and assemble a large-scale gingerbread house — complete with paper windows that enable bakers to light their house from the inside. 19


The patent-pending system works by rolling the dough onto the provided paper panels, cutting out the shapes and windows, baking the panels, decorating and then assembling the paper tabbed-panels into a 3-D paper house. The system removes the need for using icing as glue and enables the baker to keep the house fully assembled, regardless of how humid the weather is!

of products from gingerbread house baking kits to gingerbread springerle (German biscuits) cookie molds, home decor, pet and children’s products. In 2012, the Shepherd family decided to move Gingerhaus® to Rockwall, Texas, where they have enjoyed expanding their line of products to include locally-grown lavender and Christmas wreaths using freshly cut trees that they grow themselves.

Since 2005, the Gingerhaus® “As an artist, I enjoy creating brand has grown into a whole line new and unique products that 20


continue to grow the brand,” Shepherd said. Gingerhaus® has been featured on the Today Show, on MSNBC, and in magazines such as This Old House, Saveur and Victorian Home, to name a few. Paying it forward is also an important part of the Gingerhaus® philosophy, as they sponsor animal and child advocacy projects. “As a writer, illustrator and food

photographer, I have enjoyed creating several cookbooks and children’s books that benefit the SPCA and Junior League,” Shepherd said. “The most rewarding experience has been that of the wonderful letters, photographs and personal stories conveyed by our customers. When we are told that we have provided a family tradition for families around the world, we feel truly blessed.” For more information on Gingerhaus, visit their website. 21


LIVE OAK BREWING: MY FAVORITE BEER HE’S NOT TRYING TO BE FLIPPANT WHEN HE SAYS, “MY FAVORITE BEER IS THE COLD ONE I HAVE IN MY HAND AT THAT MOMENT,” BUT LIVE OAK BREWING COMPANY OWNER CHIP MCELROY MEANS IT. “The type of beer a person craves at any given time is determined by many factors — time of day, temperature, drinking with or without food, first or last beer, and many more,” McElroy said. “Certainly there are personal likes and dislikes involved. For instance, I tend to like drier rather than sweeter beers.” That means he’s probably a fan of his Liberation IPA beer, the 22

seasonal Live Oak Gold or the limited offering DunkelWeizen, the more bitter counterpart to his award-winning HefeWeizen. This Austin beer company is relatively old by Texas craft beer standards, as they’ve been around since 1997. Located in Austin near the airport, Live Oak Brewing Company recently opened a new larger facility to foster growth. The new location sports a taproom and boasts a nice


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drinking spot underneath the shade of many of its native namesake live oak trees. Live oak trees are plentiful and iconic in Central Texas. An important part of Texas, they’re both beautiful and strong. “It seemed like a good icon for a brewery, which we thought might share some of the same characteristics,” McElroy said. If you’re ever in their taproom or one of the many restaurants or bars in Texas that serve up their beers, you 24

might notice that their tap handle is built from a live oak branch. McElroy loves doing business in Texas. He explains his love in one word: “Texans.” “I am so grateful that people like to come to our taproom and just hang out in our beer garden,” McElroy said. “We love having the taproom, because we get to present all of our beers exactly the way we want to present them. Not only is it fun, but we get great feedback from the customers.”


With a focus on making a high quality, drinkable beer, Live Oak has avoided just following the latest beer fads. They also went all out on their packaging. “We went with cans, because they are a superior package to the bottle in most ways,” McElroy said. “They are completely opaque to light, fit more compactly into space, are lighter and can go more places than bottles. Some day, we might do some large format bottles, but for now, we are just trying to keep up with the cans.”

Selling packaged beer to the large retailers in Texas has been a challenge for McElroy and his company. He says he feels fortunate that some very large retailers like H-E-B and Spec’s have not only been receptive to carrying Live Oak Brewing Company’s beers, but have been supportive and patient while they are still learning the ropes. “That gets back to why I like doing business in Texas,” McElroy said. For more information or to schedule a visit to their brewery, click here. 25


SKIMMER ALERT: AVOID BEING SKIMMED Credit card skimmers are increasingly becoming a problem across the state. Let’s face it, no one wants their credit card information “skimmed” when they’re paying at 26

the pump. We put together a short video with Commissioner Miller that offers quick tips and a few tricks to help you avoid becoming a victim of credit card thieves.


D AND SCAMMED Tips to Avoid Being Skimmed: • Stay in view of clerk. • Pay with credit card (not debit). • Get a receipt. • Look for signs of tampering around

card reader/damage to cabinet. • Check your Bluetooth settings. Look for long string of numbers trying to connect. 27


like cipes rg e r r othe an.o Find at gotex this

RECIPE: TEXAS BLUEBER SLOW-COOKER FRENCH

This no-fuss, slow cooker French toast casserole, featuring plump Texas blueberries, buttery Texas pecans and sweet Texas honey is an elevated breakfast or brunch without a lot of work. Simply prep the ingredients ahead of time (even the night before!) and let the slow cooker do the work in the morning. This French toast cooks up in a few hours — making it the perfect dish to serve for a lazy weekend morning. Serves 6.

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RRY, PECAN AND HONEY H TOAST CASSEROLE Ingredients: 8 slices/12 oz. or ½ loaf Sourdough bread, toasted 4 Eggs ½ cup 2% Milk ½ cup Yogurt, plain ¼ cup Texas honey ½ tsp. Vanilla ½ tsp. Cinnamon 2 cups Texas blueberries, fresh 2 tbsp. Butter, unsalted, small cubes ½ cup Texas pecans, lightly toasted As needed Non-stick cooking spray

Directions: 1. Toast bread until lightly browned. 2. Cut toasted bread into 1-2 inch cubes, set aside. 3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, yogurt, honey, vanilla and cinnamon. 4. Add the toasted bread cubes and blueberries to the egg mixture; mix to combine. 5. Spray the bottom and sides of the slow-cooker with nonstick cooking spray until it is lightly covered.

6. Pour the bread mixture into the slowcooker, and top with butter and toasted pecans. 7. Place the lid on the slow-cooker. 8. Turn on high and allow to cook for 2.5-3 hours. Serve. 9. Top with honey for additional sweetness, if desired. SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delicious dessert or snack. Serve warm with a dollop of yogurt. 29


SPOT THE GO TEXAN MARK CHALLENGE Want a fun way to share the best of Texas with the world? It’s easy! GO TEXAN uses social media tools like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to post GO TEXAN events, share member news and increase awareness of the wide variety of products grown and made right here in the Lone Star State.

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Challenge: If you spot the GO TEXAN mark, let us know. Send us a picture of the mark on a product, sign or printed materials, and tell us where you saw it. Be sure to use the GO TEXAN hashtag (#GOTEXAN) when you post, so we can easily share your message, or send us an email.


UPCOMING TEXAS EVENTS Nov. 24: The Peddler Show – Holiday Show, Fredericksburg Nov. 25: Fall Creek Cowboy Christmas, Tow Dec. 1: Light the Night Christmas Parade & After Glow, Fredericksburg Dec. 9: BBQ Meat Science Holiday Cooking Class, Lubbock Dec. 9: Enoch’s Holiday Shop, Harleton Dec. 16: Christmas Shopping Day at Haak Vineyards & Winery, Santa Fe View more Texas events here. 31


About GO TEXAN

Launched in 1999 by the Texas Department of Agriculture, GO TEXAN, with its signature mark in the shape of Texas, celebrates, promotes and supports the business savvy and plainspoken grit Texas agriculture is known for throughout the world. Whether it’s grown, sewn or served up on a plate, nearly 27 million Texans shop, travel and dine out in support of Texas businesses, agriculture and communities, looking for the GO TEXAN mark to light the way. To learn more about the GO TEXAN program, call (877) 99-GOTEX or visit the GO TEXAN website. Tell others about GO TEXAN! One great and easy way is to forward them this publication. All your friends have to do to is click here to subscribe, and they’ll start receiving the Go Local. GO TEXAN. free monthly e-zine.

About the Texas Department of Agriculture

TDA’s mission is to partner with all Texans to make Texas the nation’s leader in agriculture, fortify our economy, empower rural communities, promote healthy lifestyles, and cultivate winning strategies for rural, suburban and urban Texas through exceptional service and the common threads of agriculture in our daily lives. 32

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