Chefs speak of them with respect and awe. Some have gone to see the cattle graze. The local ranchers who have partnered with a number of top Dallas steakhouses are worthy stewards of the meat that lands on our tables well-charred, heartbreakingly marbled. They can speak of their beasts—they know them well. With the advent of the new age of boutique meat, growing relationships between restaurateurs and these ranchers have tightened the link between farm to plate and raised the bar on your meltingly tender rib-eye.
In addition to raising lean, flavorful grass-fed Black Angus and decadent American Wagyu, many of these ranchers are committed to wetlands restoration and other sustainable practices. Here are some of the major players who are raising beef for Dallas plates. In the new steak landscape, these should become household names.
44 Farms, Cameron, TX
The beef: Family-owned since 1909, 44 Farms is the largest Texas producer of Black Angus cattle, which roam on land near a bend in the Little River that belonged to CEO and owner Bob McClaren’s great-grandfather.
Served at: Knife, CBD Provisions, Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse
A Bar N Ranch, Sherman and Celina, TX
The beef: Since 2005, Gregg Allen and Van Nichols have raised a pastured, grain-finished Angus-Wagyu crossbreed, dubbed American Wagyu, that’s prized for its buttery texture and superior marbling.
Served at: CBD Provisions, Haywire, Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House
Local Yocal Farm to Market, McKinney, TX
The beef: Along with tending to his herd of grass-fed Wagyu and Angus cattle, owner Matt Hamilton sells meats and offers Steak 101 classes at his butcher shop in historic McKinney Square.
Served at: Al Biernat’s
Rosewood Ranches, Ennis, TX
The beef: Ranch manager Kenneth Braddock raises Wagyu cattle and coordinates wetlands restoration in partnership with the Caroline Hunt Trust Estate.
Served at: Ocean Prime
Gearhart Ranch, Fort Davis, TX
The beef: In continuous operation since 1890, Gearhart Ranch takes a sustainable approach to grazing its Wagyu cattle in the native grasslands of the Davis Mountains.
Served at: Al Biernat’s
HeartBrand Ranch, Harwood, TX
The beef: The ranch’s herd of nearly 14,000 Akaushi Wagyu cattle is fed an all-natural vegetarian diet without hormones or antibiotics.
Served at: Pappas Bros. Steakhouse