No state does beef the way Texas does: tender briskets at roadside barbecue joints, juicy T-bones at high-roller steak houses, spicy carne asada at taco stands, and on and on and on. Good beef is more than a Texan birthright; it's a point of pride: the state produces more beef than any other, and for many of its nearly 150,000 cattlemen, ranching is a family business that stretches back a century or more. Most commercial breeds are represented on Texas's plains, from the well-marbled Angus to the noble Brahman, which thrive in Texas's summer heat. And though the lean and hardy Texas longhorn steer came close to extinction decades ago, producers have recently brought it back. That's something worth celebrating: not only is that breed an emblem of the Old West, but, according to purists, lean longhorn beef makes the best Texas chili.
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