This year, I’m taking on a farm-to-table, #localmonthly challenge where I eat local, home-cooked meals for one day every month. All ingredients from these meals are from Texas. (See the first post here.)
This year, we’ve made local beef, pork, chicken, duck, and fish. I’m thankful that Texas has plenty of options for local meat! If you’re curious about eating local meal in Texas, it might be easier than you think. Keep reading to learn more.
Why Local Meat?
With locally sourced meat, you’re more likely to find options that are antibiotic-free and humanely raised while also supporting local ranchers and farmers. When you’re buying meat, check the labeling. Here are some things to look for:
- Antibiotic-free: This means if an animal is sick, antibiotics were not given to heal it
- Free-range: The animal can roam freely outdoors for various amounts of time instead of being confined
- Grass-fed: The animal is raised by eating grass, not grain. Grass-fed is better for the environment and less likely to be contaminated with anything in the grain.
- Grass-finished: The animal ate grass its whole life. If it’s not grass-finished, it could have been given grain as supplemental feed or it started its life eating grass and finished with a grain diet.
- No added hormones, no growth hormones: The animal was not given any steroids or the like
- Pasture-raised: Similar to free-range, the animal was allowed time to roam freely
Note that even if an animal is free-range or pasture-raised, it doesn’t designate a specific amount of time they need to be outside. This means they could be allowed to roam freely for a few hours instead of for their whole life. If the free-range and pasture-raised label doesn’t include grass-fed, they could be fed grain by the farmer in the field.
Where to Get Local Meat in Texas
Below are some options to get local meat in Austin and Texas. These options can be a little out of the way, so don’t forget to read the labels at your local grocery store for more accessible options. For example, I found the bison from Roam Ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas at Central Market. Also, while it doesn’t call out the local farms directly, Farmhouse Delivery also has local meat delivery options.
At Austin’s farmers markets:
- Belle Vie Farm of Austin, Texas
- Humble Rooster Farm of Bertram, Texas
- Ranger Cattle of Austin, Texas
- Smith & Smith of Burlington, Texas
- Winters Family Beef of Brady, Texas
At Austin retail locations:
By wholesale and retail:
For more meat options around Texas, check out the Eat Wild website.
July’s Farm-to-Table Meals
Will got some snapper filets from a co-worker who caught them in the Texas gulf and some homegrown cherry tomatoes, so we worked those into our meals.
Here’s what I ended up buying at the farmers market for $41:
- One bag of baby bok choy, one container of okra and two patty pan squash from Johnson’s Backyard Garden of Austin, TX ($16)
- One lb each of eggplant and shishito peppers from Gray Gardens of Buda, TX ($7)
- 1.3 lbs of sirloin steak from Grass-Fed Beef of Texas ($18)
This time around, because of our social schedules, we ended up doing two local dinners in one weekend. Here are the resulting meals:
Dinner One: Blackened Snapper; Stir-fry Baby Bok Choy; Grilled Patty Pan Squash
Dinner Two: Blistered Shishito Peppers; Stir-fry Okra with Cherry Tomatoes; Roasted Eggplant; Grilled Steak
This post is about meat but the winner of our meals was the patty pan squash! I bought it on a whim because of the name, but it was delicious! I highly recommend it if you see it.
P.S. Curious about my other posts from this challenge so far? See them here.