Countryside Farm produces stunning poultry and foie gras just outside of Austin
Sebastien Bonneu and his family live and work at Countryside Farm in Cedar Creek, just a few minutes drive outside of Austin, on your way to Buc-ee’s on 71. For our most recent Patreon video, Brad and I got a chance to head out to the farm and check out how he runs his poultry operation and see for ourselves how he raises the most delicious ducks and foie gras I’ve ever had.
For the past few years we have ordered his ducks and poultry about once annually around this time. His Muscovy ducks are about twice the size of a standard Mallard and everything about these ducks is turned up to 11. Enormous breasts that are the size of my entire hand eat like a rich steak. The meat is dark and the split carcass looks like a miniature version of the half hogs we receive. They come with the head, neck, and feet on (which make for a great soup). And they come with the prize of all prizes stuffed inside the cavity: two huge lobes of locally raised foie gras.
To put it in perspective, this is like the winged version of the $2000 A5 Japanese Wagyu Brisket we cooked last year. The absolute highest quality attainable, and we got to see “where the magic happens.”
Sebastien was kind enough to show us around and his family treated Brad and I to an unforgettable lunch on their porch, surrounded by the animals they raise. We dined on baguette with sliced raw foie, a duck neck and foot soup, seared foie gras, grilled duck breast and heart, crispy potatoes, and an apple tart. When I asked his pre-teen son if he ever gets tired of duck in his lunchbox he responded with a firm, “No way!”
The thing that makes me most excited about what Countryside Farm does is specialization. He’s not trying to raise the same chicken or huge breasted turkey everybody else is, he’s producing what he is passionate about. That passion leads to unmatched quality and that quality creates a specialized market for his products.
In addition to ducks, Sebastien raises guinea hens, some chickens, geese, rabbits, pigeon, and more. When we left we got to do a little freezer raid and walked away with some really exciting birds to smoke.
The fact that we can’t get these products all the time (for availability and cost reasons) makes them that much more special. We threw an mini-event, made multiple dishes, and promoted the heck out of a menu we created with his ducks and guinea hens because, 1. we wanted to share these amazing ducks with as many people as possible and 2. we had to sell it all to make sure we made our money back on them.
One of the best parts about getting the ducks with the foie in them is how affordable it makes the foie. Normally chefs are paying about $50/lb or more for the prized fatty duck liver, but Countryside sells their ducks with foie in them for a much more reasonable price. They’re still expensive compared to your grocery store chicken or even your Maple Leaf Farms duck, but for the size of the duck, the quality of the meat, and the fact that it’s stuffed with the best tasting, locally raised foie gras, this is probably the best deal for quality in the area.
Link to their products: https://app.barn2door.com/e/QMJ75/all