Patricia Mares
Ruby’s BBQ
Austin, Texas

Here’s the thing: Barbecue beef brisket is inarguably one of Texas’ most hallowed culinary offerings. I mean, where else in the world could you attend Camp Brisket, hosted at Texas A&M University? We set out on a quest to find which Lone Star barbecutionist was using sustainably raised beef. Spoiler alert: It was challenging.

tx_PatMaresWhy we chose this barbecue joint:

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While grass-fed, organically raised beef brisket is a beautiful thought, the supply’s just not there yet. Mares has steadfastly sourced the next best thing — naturally raised, steroid- and hormone-free beef — for 25 years. Some of the beef comes from in-state, but not all — some comes from a consortium of ranches using natural practices in Colorado and Kansas.

The grass-fed times, they are a-changin’ in Texas (slowly):

Says Mares: “I’ve seen more and more local ranchers who are [raising their cattle] completely grass-fed, but not yet to the large extent that they can actually produce enough beef for barbecue restaurants.” In other words, stay tuned.

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