Ostriches are a true oddity. First, there’s the whole 8-foot tall thing, the freakishly long neck and the large wings that have no flight capabilities whatsoever. Then there’s the fact that the meat does not remotely resemble meat from more commonly eaten birds like chicken, turkey or quail. In fact ostrich meat is similar to beef. Like beef, ostrich is sold in cuts such as filets, medallions, roasts and burgers. Unlike beef, ostrich meat is not rippled with fat. While some people think the low fat content of ostrich is its biggest selling point, we see this as a slight downside. We’re willing to overlook this minor quibble because we like the mild, meaty flavor. And we take things into our own hands anyway and add a little fat back into the equation by serving ostrich with a favorite savory topping: garlic herb butter.
Smeared on a hot filet or medallion off the grill, garlic herb butter melts into a luscious puddle, giving the lean meat extra juicy flavor. In this recipe for Grilled Ostrich Smothered in Garlic Herb Butter, the ostrich medallions have been gently seasoned then grilled to medium rare, resulting in a tender, hearty cut of meat. Herb butter can also be used to finish slow-cooked ostrich roasts and as a topping to grilled ostrich burgers.
Ostrich might sound like exotic meat, but when you try your first bite you’ll realize it’s anything but. In fact, we’re willing to bet you could serve it to a table of picky eaters without any complaints. It just might be the most delicious bird (that doesn’t taste anything like a bird) you’ll ever eat.
1 pound of ostrich medallions or filets, about 3/4-inch thick
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coriander
3-4 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped herbs, such as chives, parsley or rosemary
Heat grill to medium-high.
Mix together black pepper, salt and coriander and rub all over the meat.
Grill 5-7 minutes on each side, until internal temperature is around 145 and meat is medium to medium rare. Do not cook to well-done or the meat will be dry and tough.
In a bowl, mash together butter, garlic and herbs.
Remove meat from the grill and top with herb butter.