Adding ostrich to the mix

I’m back in the lowveld this week, implementing a new menu at a gorgeous lodge in the Timbavati. Between game drives, guests relax on the deck with a cold drink in hand, watching elephants, listening as the wind rustles the long grass and thunder rumbles with the promise of rain. Just as it is with an island escape, time slows down and city-life concerns quickly fade into the distance.

While big on seasonal meals, this lodge is also great with adding SA foods into the mix. Surprisingly, it’s usually the foreign guests who are willing to try these foods more so than us locals, and without fail, ostrich comes out as a favourite. For many of us, the associations we have with ostrich are limited to Oudtshoorn and ostrich eggs in curio shops, so preparing or ordering the meat as a meal is quite a leap to make! But it’s such a great lean protein option because it’s

  • Lower in fat than other red meats
  • Lower in cholesterol than other red meats
  • A great source of iron, and
  • Not very high in collagen, so the meat is a lot ‘softer’

Ostrich is available as steak, mince, fillet, goulash, burger patties etc. and can pretty much be prepared as you would prepare any other red meat. If you’re a little sceptical, try a burger first – simply marinate the patties in soy sauce and ginger, then cook until done as preferred, place on a roll and top with your favourite burger toppings.

If the thought of preparing ostrich yourself is a little too daunting, head over to Kauai and try their ostrich kofta wrap – totally delicious and good for you!

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