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Ostrich - AVESTRUS DROMEADEUS

 

Ostriches are so called walking birds (ratites). They are family members of the Australian Emu, and the South-American Nandu. Ostriches are originaly from Africa but are nowadays produced all over the world. The main producer is still South-Africa. The ostrich was traditionally hunted for its skin, which accounts for roughly 2/3 of the income derived from ostriches.

 

Habitat

Wild ostriches can be found in the savannah of almost whole southern Africa: from South Africa, Namibia in the south-west up to Kenia in the north-east. Even Madagascar and Mauritius used to have their own types of ostriches but they are both extincted.

 

Breeding

Ostriches were already breeded for over 50 years, but the export of ostrich meat did not start until 20 years ago. The main reason for breeding ostriches has always been its skin, rather than its meat. An A grade skin can be transfered in one of the most beautiful types of leather in the world.

 

Hunting

There is no trade in the meat of wild ostriches. Wild ostriches are well protected by Cites- and other national or international laws. Farmed ostriches are breeded all over the world, the largest export countries are : South-Africa, Australia, Zimbabwe, Israël, Namibia, Spain, France and New Zealand. The largest producing country is South Africa in the region of Western Cape Province.

The animals are ready for slaughter from 12 to 18 months. However, the best result for tenderness and quantity is 14 months. There is in fact high and low season for slaughtering, the high season starts in September until February and the low season starts in April and lasts until to the beginning of August.

 

Meat

Ostrich meat is not only very tasty, it is also very lean and contains less then 2% fat The color is bright red. Ostrich is sold in fillet and steak. Ostrich actually does not have any fillet, as all the meat is leg meat and there is no breast fillet. The only reason that fillets and steaks are sold is that some parts are more tender than other parts and therefore are sold as fillets.

 

Cuts:
Ostrich is sold in: FILETS: fanfillet, small fillet (oysterfillet, tenderloin, tournedos, eyefillet) STEAKS: big steak about 5 to 700g, small steaks about 250-350g and one piece of 125g Goulash and trimming
 

 

Recipe proposal:

Boomerang Steaks

Ingredients (Serves 6 - 8):

Marinade
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons wasabe (Japanese horseradish) or prepared horseradish
1/4 cup green onions
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon smoked sesame oil
2 pounds filet, strip, sirloin or boomerang Ostrich or Emu steaks

 

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients and marinate ostrich or emu 2 hours or overnight. Grill over medium coals.

 

Thanks to: Fresh from Florida Cookbook

     

 

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