Photography by Molly Anne Sandefur
In our June issue, Kim Lane’s Danish-inspired backyard party takes the cake (strawberry cake, that is) for a summer solstice event. Since Danish food heavily relies on seasonal and local availability, Kim reached out to WunderHaus, a Conway restaurant that specializes in “farm-to-table European soul food,” the perfect pairing for the soiree. The restaurant originated as a food truck, The Wunderbus, serving German food in the Conway area starting in 2015. Just two years later, owners Jacqueline and Jason Smith and Auguste and Kacy Forrester turned the popular food truck into a brick-and-mortar. Jacqueline, who focuses on the sweet and savory menus, social media, and is the founder of WunderMarkets, a seasonal market under the WunderHaus brand, describes the restaurant’s cuisine as “food that takes a little more time to prepare” featuring “lots of braising, butter, and handmade noodles.” Kim’s backyard party menu included smørrebrød, an elderflower-soaked strawberry cake, and a variety of other seasonal fare.
WunderHaus’s focus on the relationship between their cuisine and those who enjoy it is evident: “We can learn a great deal about different societies through the how its people relate to food,” Jacqueline notes. “For us, that is paramount. This business is rooted in the effort to get people to slow down a bit and enjoy food that is planted, grown, harvested, and prepared with love.” Read below for a WunderHaus staple recipe.
Sweet Tea Braised Brisket Recipe
“While we have a myriad ways we like our brisket, this is the preparation for a dish we call ‘Life is a Picnic’ served regularly at the restaurant,” Jacqueline says. “The brisket is typically served with Haus pickled vegetables and a simple slaw made of cabbage, lemon, mayonnaise, and sometimes Arkansas Black Apple atop an oven-roasted gold potato.”
3 large sweet onions, thickly sliced
3-4 pounds beef brisket, trimmed
1/8 cup salt
1 teaspoon pepper
6 cloves garlic
2 cups brown sugar
8 cups steeped strong black tea (about 8-10 tea bags)
In a slow cooker or large stainless dish, combine tea, garlic, and onions. Place brisket on bed of onions, garlic, and tea. Sprinkle brisket with brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Rub seasonings onto brisket, being sure to coat all edges. Cover with parchment and foil and bake at 250°F for 6-8 hours.
Remove foil, baste, taste pan juices to see whether additional seasoning is needed, and turn oven up to 450°F. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then transfer brisket to a cutting board. Let meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Using a wire mesh strainer; strain sauce into a sauce pan. Reduce for 15-20 minutes and serve over brisket.
Editor’s note: This recipe did not appear in the print edition.