culinary experiment: ostrich meatloaf

January 21, 2022

What do you do with a pound of ground ostrich? Well first, where do you even get ground ostrich? Ours came from Alpine Butcher, which has a nice supply of game meats. They used to carry ostrich at the local Whole Foods, and I used it to make burgers a couple of times. They were pretty good. But last night we went with meatloaf.

To make the meatloaf, we sautéed onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in a little oil and butter until softened. We cubed the heels from a loaf of bread and soaked them in about half a cup of milk for a few minutes. Then we aded the bread and the vegetables to the ostrich. Additionally, we mixed in an egg and some fresh chopped parsley. We seasoned it with salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of paprika.

Once combined, it was added to a meatloaf pan and cooked at 350° for about 40 minutes until a thermometer read 170°. To finish it off, we broiled it for a few minutes to build a crust on top.

Normally we would glaze our meatloaf, but given that the goal was to taste the ostrich, we didn’t want to distract from flavor too much. Ostrich is very different from turkey or chicken. It is bright red when raw, and can actually be served undercooked. Ostrich has subtle but distinct taste, a little like beef, a little hint of game, and a slight earthiness. The meatloaf was good. It highlighted the ostrich and was fun to work with a different meat. We served it with mashed potatoes, a side salad, and a nice bottle of Zinfandel. Ostrich meatloaf won’t be in the regular rotation here, but it is definitely worth a try if you happen to have a pound of ostrich sitting around.

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