Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bird is the Word

I have been a bit of a slacker when it comes to The Pink Shoe Cookbook but I was mauled by a rather large and unending headcold last week and you know when you can’t breathe through your nose or speak without coughing, it’s hard to get it up for cooking anything worth posting about, don’t you agree?

Unless a "Heating up Chicken Nugz" post appeals to you?

In any case:

It is time once again for Adventures in Odd Meat!

As I mentioned in my blog the other day, Adam and I visited The Healthy Buffalo on Sunday to stock up on various “odd meats”. I have to say when it comes to things other than Buffalo I was a little gun shy after the Kangaroo incident. However I believe we must learn from our mistakes and go on and the mistake of that adventure was buying the ground meat and messing around with it too much. So this time we opted for good ol’ fashion steaks.

Ostrich Steaks, that is.

For those unfamiliar with the meat of the larges bird on the planet, allow me to enlighten you.

- Though the Ostrich is a bird, ostrich meat is red meat. It’s very similar to beef but contains way less fat (87% less to be exact)
- Ostrich is high in iron and protein
- Ostrich is a VERY red meat.

Meaning unlike beef you can’t just look at it and see if it’s done because even if it’s cooked properly it will still be a little red inside. So use a thermometer and get it up to around 150 degrees and you will be good to go.

There are actually a plethora of Ostrich recipes on the Internet which leads me to believe it is one of the more popular of the Odd Meats. Furthermore, I found a few packages of Ground Ostrich at Stop and Shop this weekend!

I chose a simple recipe that would not mask the flavor of the meat too much. When one is trying a new food, be it an odd meat or whatever, one doesn’t want to drown it in a sauce or marinade because then how will you know if you like it? All you will be tasting is what you put on it. Also, the helpful owner of The Healthy Buffalo advised us that if we must marinate the ostrich, to dilute it by ½ since ostrich takes in flavor much more than other meats.

Lastly, the sauce I made for the steaks was SO good. I mean like FREAKING awesomely good. And really easy. I would recommend it for regular beef steaks, and I think it would be LOVELY on a London broil. An easy way to dress up an inexpensive cut of meat.

Ostrich Steak with Peppercorn Wine Sauce

1 lb. ostrich steaks
1 c beef broth
1 small bay leaf
1/8 tsp black peppercorns, crushed 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp thyme leaves, chopped
2 tbsp red wine

Heat large heavy skillet over medium heat five minutes. Salt and pepper the steaks lightly and place in skillet over medium heat for 3-4 minutes a side.

In small pan, dissolve cornstarch in broth. Bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened, about one minute.

Stir in thyme and bay leaf. Lower heat to medium and reduce liquid by half. Stir in wine and peppercorns. Cook three minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf.

Look how rich that is. Mmmm.

Spoon a little sauce over steaks.

Overall, the ostrich is our fave in the Odd Meats category so far! It tastes a LOT like roast beef. In fact, I think you could serve this to someone who loves roast beef and they would not be able to tell the difference unless they had tried Ostrich before. It is a delicious red meat, with sauce or without, and I highly recommend if you have occasion to pick some Ostrich steaks up, that you do!


LooLoo said...

Fabulous! I'll just tell Matt its beef.

Nicky said...

Oh my god, I read too fast and I thought you'd written, "Adventures in OLD Meat". I was going to say "OMG are you off your rocker??? Eeeewwww!" Then I re-read slower. Hahaha.
Anyway, although I am a non-meat eater, I say go ahead and eat your Ostrich(es?). Like kangaroos, they scare me. Any animal that stands on two legs, is taller than I am, and can kill me with a swift Van Damme-esque kick to the chest is not anything I ever want to meet (meat?). Lol...

Sarah said...

Nicky i was actually thinking of you last night because I know you eat chicken, which is a bird, so i was wondering if you eat other birds like duck or turkey....or OSTRICH!? :-P

Nicky said...

I do eat turkey...but mostly because it's rather like chicken. LOL. I have had duck before, but not often, and I have really mixed feelings about it. I know it technically falls under my "fish or fowl" rule, but it's a "meaty" bird, which sort of turns me off. I don't feel very good about eating it, and generally try to avoid it. But when you're in France and Duck L'Orange is on the menu, well...that's a different story! I don't think I'd chow on ostrich, though. I wonder how I'd do with goose. Do people even still eat geese? It seems so Dickinsonian. Like I should toss coins to a child on the street to go pick out the fattest one for me at the market. LOL. (o:

Libby said...

Ostrich is really yummy- we used to live near an ostrich farm when we lived on the western side of the state. The sauce does sound good, I have a similar red wine / peppercorn sauce recipe but yours looks thicker and heartier than the one I make. I shall have to try yours next time.

MMM said...

I've only had ostrich once and it is pretty good. Your recipe sounds great.

Jzbell said...

Hi, Sarah... long time lurker here. Had to pop up and say hello on the ostrich note though... You're absolutely right about it being a more common "odd meat." I used to work for a restaurant that served ostrich burgers and steaks, fresh from a farm not 5 miles away.

Anyway, I've been enjoying your Pink Shoes Diaries blog for a while now. Keep it up! =)