Most of the time when you go to a hotel and order something from the restaurant, what you receive is pretty standard food made with ingredients shipped in from some outside source from who knows where. At Imperial River Company though, many of the ingredients enjoyed in the riverside restaurant are locally sourced, and that includes main courses like the big, juicy steaks they’ve become known for.
Grassfed for Your Enjoyment
When cattle are grassfed, they don’t get a lot of extra grain or fillers in their diet. This makes the meat taste better and is more sustainable for the environment. Grazing animals were intended to “bite” grasses, stimulating plant growth and root development, a vital role in keeping healthy stands of vegetation growing across the landscape. In turn, these plants hold the soil and protect from erosion aiding in cleaner streams, and in the riparian areas, helping to shade and cool water. The cattle move across the landscape in a carefully managed rotational grazing system. It means real ranchers raising beef in grazing fields, instead of some corporation raising meat in a feedlot or barn.
Most beef corporations feed their cattle a steady diet of corn and do not allow them to graze. Even if they did let them graze a little, they still couldn’t call their beef “grassfed”. In fact, you can’t just claim that the beef or other product you use is grassfed unless it meets certain requirements. According to the USDA, the animals must have a diet restricted to grass, forbs, or pre-grain cereal crops. They must also have continuous access to pastures during the growing season. This is healthier for the cows and for the people who end up eating them. You can really taste the difference in the beef and lamb served at Imperial.
Dry-Aged for Even Better Flavor
Not only does the grassfed lamb and beef at Imperial come from their local ranch, but the beef is also dry-aged. In fact, the Imperial River restaurant dry ages their beef for 21 days. This is not available at your local supermarket! Only the higher grades of meat with evenly distributed fat content can be dry-aged. By dry aging, Imperial's chef is able to use meat with a greater concentration of beef flavor and taste. Dry-aged steaks also come out a lot more tender than beef that has not gone through this process.
Local Restaurant Owners Deliver Local Flavors
There’s a reason Imperial Stock Ranch and its Maupin restaurant have become known for great steaks and amazing locally-sourced dishes. Owners Rob and Susie Miles and the Carver Family are proud of their relationship to the ingredients in the area, and say that “You can really taste the flavor difference in our beef and lamb.” When you come to the Imperial dining room and order a steak, “you are assured of quality Angus beef; not some old dairy cows that have been slipped into the program. When you choose us, you choose local, natural, humane quality!”
If you’re in the Maupin area, consider stopping by Imperial River Company to sit by the Deschutes River while you eat your juicy, homegrown steak in the restaurant.