Here's the Beef

Q7 brings free-range, grass-fed beef to your door

A mere 60 miles from the Loop, ranchers on horseback herd cattle through river-crossed plains of prairie grass.

What sounds like a scene from an idyllic, pre-industrial agriculture reality is daily life for Quarter Circle 7 Ranch, a young, Marengo-based operation raising free-range, grass-fed beef.

You may have already tried the farm's beef at The Bristol, Old Town Social and Sableā€“or if you've recently had the braised beef tongue with salsa verde at Girl & the Goat. It's found in butcher cases at City Provisions and The Butcher & Larder, too.

But Q7's unsung perk is its free beef delivery service, available in Chicago and the western suburbs. Order steaks, ribs and roasts by the cut, or by the eighth-, quarter- or half-side. The ranch raises Black Angus and a leaner, smaller (and less expensive) crossbreed; ordering either by the side slashes the retail price by 15 to 20 percent.

An eighth ($379 for Angus; $279 for the other breed) includes rib eyes and tenderloins, but also lesser-known cuts like the chuck blade steak, all dry-aged for at least 14 days.

Call to order unlisted items like marrow or stock bones, heart, liver and tongue.

Quarter Circle 7 Ranch, 22106 Anthony Rd., Marengo; 815-219-9356 or q7ranch.com