Where's the (all-natural) beef? FORT Butcher hopes to answer that question and do so affordably.
A new ranch-to-table concept called FORT Butcher is partnering with local breweries to host monthly "Meat Drops,” offering premium steaks, brisket plates and craft brews with a community atmosphere. The first Meat Drop (a pre-order and pick-up event) will be held at The Collective Brewing Project on May 18. Then, Rahr & Sons Brewing will host one on June 15.
"It is not a pop-up event," says Don Canada Jr., who’s launching the event alongside founder and chef Andrew Dilda and friends Stacey Sargent Cooper, Q Davis, Joy Kidd and Nathan Butorac. "This is beneficial to both parties."
When Canada began making his own jerky, he went looking for a meat purveyor with higher quality meat at affordable prices and stumbled on one that he and his friends just had to share with the local community. They have partnered with several Midwest ranches that produce “Never Ever” meats — that is, 100 percent natural meat from animals raised without any added hormones, antibiotics or fast-growth methods.
“It starts at the soil,” Canada says, “for a small ranch taste at grocery store prices.”
Dilda, best known in Fort Worth for his time serving as executive chef of Reata Restaurant, also holds the title at the annual charity brisket competition — known as MEAT Fight — five years running. He has taken several trips to Beijing, China, in recent years, consulting about Texas barbecue techniques. Most recently, he served as executive chef of the Cane Rosso's Frisco location.
Dilda says the FORT Butcher team believes that everyone should have easy, affordable access to this quality of meat. Buying in large quantities, direct from the ranchers, allows FORT Butcher to keep costs low. The plan is to deliver specialty meats (heritage pork breeds, all-natural poultry and pasture-raised beef) to customers at grocery store pricing. Canada's own all-natural jerky — FORT Jerky — will be available too.
FORT Butcher plans to give back to the community as well, partnering with Tarrant Area Food Bank. As the business ramps up, FORT Butcher also plans to host cooking classes and eventually provide online ordering with home delivery.