Posted in Ingredients

Foodstuff- Ostrich Meat

Ostrich 1

I have seen Ostrich steaks offered on restaurant menus a few times within the past decade or so, but, on each occasion, other items were more appealing for one reason or another. Accordingly, I had always passed on the opportunity and it was not until recently that I saw ground Ostrich meat offered for sale in the freezer cabinet in a local store.

The product is Canadian, as it turns out. The company, Blue Mountain Fine Foods™, is located in Thornbury, Ontario, but, unfortunately, I was unable to learn whether they were actually raising ostrich in that location or just packaging meat raised elsewhere. In any event, while I would have preferred to be trying steaks, or other whole, cuts of meat, I was pleased to see that the ‘Burger’ meat they were selling contains just ‘100% Ostrich’, with no seasonings or other ingredients listed. As such, I was at least going to be able to taste the bird without other flavorings getting in the way …

Ostrich 2

The package contains two fairly sizable pre-formed burger patties, one of which you can see on the left. I lightly salted the second patty and made a little tiny ‘patty’ from some of the meat which I then pan-fried for a quick taste test. As you can see, on the right, the result is not particularly remarkable.


Ostrich 3

The above picture gives you a slightly better idea of the cooked meat. There is not a great deal of fat (the package indicated there is only 2 grams per 100 grams of product) and the raw meat is very dark and blood colored giving it the appearance of very lean ground beef before cooking and after. The similarity, however, ends there.

Because of the appearance, I was expecting a ‘beefy’ sort of taste, but it turned out to be much milder and, in truth, not easy to describe. The best I can say is that it was something like a cross between ground pork and ground turkey. It really lacked the umami punch of beef and, in my opinion, you would be better off choosing that considerably cheaper option if making burgers for the barbecue. In fairness to the product, I should add that I have no uses for ground turkey or chicken meat in general, so others who do enjoy those minced meats will quite likely enjoy ostrich in and for itself. Personally, if I am using it, it is likely to be with a lot of high-powered seasonings, which, somewhat obviously, undermines the cost-benefit of using this exotic meat.


Ostrich 4

I used the cooked meat in three ways all based on a basic seasoning style. After setting aside the cooked meat, I made a spice blend of ground coriander seed, fennel seed, black pepper and sautéed this in oil along with a little chopped garlic. I then added chopped onion, red bell pepper, and sliced green jalapeno peppers and, when these were just beginning to soften, I added back the cooked meat and several pinches of turmeric, plus some salt to taste.

For the first use, which you see pictured above, I roasted some halved seedling potatoes that I brushed with oil and seasoned with garlic salt. I used about a third of the meat mix and briefly fried it along with the potatoes and a little bit of crushed red chili for some extra fire to make a sort of curry… it was very good and I probably could have eaten the whole thing again.


Ostrich 5

I used about a half-cup of the original meat mixture in a small, cold, salad-style preparation inspired by the ‘Larb’ dishes popular in South-East Asia. Here, I tossed the seasoned meat and veggies with a tiny squirt of oil and some lemon juice and served it over sliced cucumber. You could also do much the same thing, serving the meat hot or cold, but using lettuce leaves as wraps, or else tortilla chips, chapati, or the like…

I still have a little of the meat left and I am anticipating serving it over Ramen for a light supper this evening. The previous two preparations were both very nice but, in all honesty, for future versions, I think I will not bother with the extra expense of exotic meats like ostrich and just use beef or pork instead …

6 thoughts on “Foodstuff- Ostrich Meat

  1. I’ve had ostrich steak and it was more like beef than what you describe. It was sweeter than beef though. My guess is that the good parts of the ostrich were used to make steak and then the rest ground up for this. Ostrich steak used to be popular here around the holidays in the nineties if I remember correctly, but I haven’t seen it in a while.

    1. I am going to keep an eye out for ostrich steaks in restaurants here in my new city of Halifax (I made the move after what seemed an eternity)

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