These days, you can purchase nearly anything online. Beef is no exception. From traditional mail-order companies like Omaha Steaks to farm-direct sellers like Crystal River Meats, the digital beef bazaar is an option-rich environment that’s championed by everyone from pro chefs to dry-aging aficionados. These are the best cuts and deals for your kitchen.
Crystal River Meats
The inverse of big box beef outfits, Colorado-based Crystal River Meats is a vehemently local operation. Everything from breeding the animals to growing the hay to processing and packaging the beef happens within a 200-mile radius of the HQ in Carbondale. They also upped the local meat game by supplying ground beef to the RE-1 school district in Colorado for an entire year.
Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors
Having supplied top-tier restaurants with premium beef, pork and lamb for three generations, Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors rose to prominence in the ‘90s after Mario Batali named the company sole meat provider to all of his restaurants. The LaFrieda empire has only grown exponentially since, expanding its dry-aging operations and crafting the custom-blended patties that headline New York’s most coveted hamburgers, from Shake Shack to Minetta Tavern’s iconic Black Label Burger.
Rare Gourmet Meats
This California-based retailer — run by Debbie Rocker, whose family owns Rocker Bros Meat & Provisions, which has been supplying LA’s best chefs with meat for over 50 years, and Shelly Youree, a former rancher — was founded with the noble philosophy of bringing restaurant-quality meats to everyone, anywhere. Just expect to pay a pretty penny for its dry-aged porterhouse steaks and world-class Wagyu.
Greensbury Market sells organic beef bought from small farms that pasture-raise their cattle without synthetic growth hormones or antibiotics. Each is fed a 100 percent grass diet, resulting in a meat that’s less fatty, less acidic and more tender.
Nebraska Star Beef
Family owned and operated, Nebraska Star Beef raises, harvests, ages and processes its beef, working closely with ranchers across the northern plains — Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska — to source some of the finest Angus cattle in the States.
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Lobel’s of New York
The Lobel family has been in the business of producing world-class beef for over 160 years. Their Manhattan-based store sources cattle from farms stretching throughout America’s heartland. Their USDA Prime Beef comes from cattle raised on corn, their Natural Prime Beef comes from cattle fed on a mix of all-natural grains, their American Wagyu Cattle have a 100 percent vegetarian diet, and their Piedmontese Beef is pasture raised. All of these are dry aged for four to six weeks for extra taste and texture.
Snake River Farms
The secret to Snake River Farms, named for the river that flows from Wyoming to the Pacific Ocean, is its closed-loop system — the carefully controlled management of every step of the beef production process. The result is better beef, but at a higher price. Still, that hasn’t stopped many meat lovers from buying some of the juiciest, tastiest meat in America.
An industry stalwart, Omaha Steaks has been slinging beef for almost a century. The mail-order biz started in the middle of the 20th century after the company found success selling steaks on the Union Pacific Railroad. Today it specializes in all manner of grain-fed steaks, especially filet mignon.
Heritage Foods USA
Heritage Foods USA deals exclusively in meat from heritage breed animals — Wagyu, Piedmontese, Dexter — all of which comes from a network of small American farms. Online you’ll find a unique selection of pasture-raised beef, along with detailed information about where it came from.
DeBragga’s a member of the old guard of New York butcher shops, around since the 1920s. It was focused primarily on supplying high-end restaurants in the tri-state area with meat until 2007, when it launched an online store. DeBragga carries all the good stuff, from dry-aged American Wagyu to grass-fed ground beef to marrow bones.
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