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Who knew that such a larger-than-life state had mastered the art of small-town charm? For Chef Michael Fojtasek (Olamaie, Austin), it’s all part of the Texan experience. When you’re here, it’s best to cook for a crowd for when they show up. The show-stopping cut up for that particular task is none other than the strip loin, slow-cooked and reverse-seared. It’s a centerpiece that requires a little patience and finesse, but the payoff is immediate—guests have a hard time hiding their delight when it hits the table. Pair it with some bright greens and boom: now you’re everyone’s favorite neighbor.

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“Get the best beef you can,” says Fojtasek. “Tie that beef with twine. Cook with a thermometer. Let it rest, then let it rest some more. Don't forget the fat is where lots of the flavor is—don't push it to the side. Enjoy it!”

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In this state, family is as many people as you can fit around the table.

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