Ostrich may not be on most people’s menu, but I think it should be. It’s a lean red protein, delicious, and much more sustainable than beef or other red meats. If you have access to ostrich meat, I recommend trying this ostrich burger recipe!
Ostriches are interesting birds. They’re huge, yet flightless and mostly exist in a continent rife with predators. How did they evolve like that? It’s a mystery to me! Yet, somehow they’ve survived as a species and are still around and doing well.
In pre-Islamic Arabia, poets often compared their beloved to an ostrich. It seems bizarre to us today that anyone would think that an ostrich is a symbol of beauty; yet some people did. Poets would often compare their beloved’s long elegant neck to that of an ostrich; their clear skin to the shell of an ostrich egg and their graceful movements to the gait of an ostrich. It puts the ostrich into a very different light when you think of it that way!
My First Experience
Around fifteen years ago, ostrich meat started appearing on supermarket shelves in Cairo, Egypt where I lived at the time. Curious as ever, I bought ostrich cold cuts and tried making a sandwich. I was underwhelmed; it tasted like any other processed meat. When I moved to Canada, I discovered that some butchers sell ostrich meat so I thought I’d give it a try, but this time to get unprocessed ostrich meat and cook it myself. So, I bought some minced ostrich meat and some ostrich “fan” which is a tender cut supposedly good for steaks…but that’s a recipe for another day!
I made burgers with the ostrich mince and the result was superb and I highly recommend you try it if you have access to ostrich meat. If you like burgers, you’ll probably enjoy this ostrich burger recipe! I find that ostrich has a milder taste than beef and is definitely leaner.
- One pound of ground ostrich meat (this makes 4 burgers; enough for 4 people or for 2 people for two separate meals)
- One tablespoon garlic powder
- Half a tablespoon of smoked paprika
- One teaspoon kosher salt
- Half a teaspoon ground black pepper
- One teaspoon onion powder.
- Burger buns, condiments and sliced onions to taste (let your imagination run free; I like adding pickled beetroot, cucumbers, raw onion, lettuce, ketchup and chilli sauce, for example)
- Three tablespoons canola oil, plus more if roasting the potatoes too.
- Two sweet potatoes and three small white potatoes for roasting (optional)
- Mix the spices into the ostrich meat by hand until the spices are fully incorporated. Knead it like a dough to distribute the seasoning evenly.
- Form into balls the size of a small navel orange. Set aside for at least half an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. In a roasting pan or baking sheet, brush the bottom with canola oil. Cut the potatoes into thin slices or wedges, if using. Season with salt, garlic powder, paprika, and add an extra tablespoon of oil. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
- In a cast iron skillet or any other heavy-bottomed pan, heat the canola oil until it’s shimmery and very hot. This is very important; never put meat in a cold pan!
- When the oil is hot, place the meat balls into the skillet. After four or five seconds, flatten the meat into patties. The patties should be around one centimetre or half an inch thick.
- Cook on both sides on medium high heat for about four minutes on each side until a nice brown crust forms and the patties are firm to the touch.
- Remove from heat and let it rest for five minutes. In the meantime, prepare your burger bun by adding the condiments and vegetables you prefer. Assemble the burger and serve with the roasted potatoes! Enjoy!
Have you ever tried ostrich meat? How did you cook it? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments!
© 2019, L.E.. All rights reserved.