Australian cuisine doesn’t often scream unconventional or unique; however some interesting dishes should not be ignored. Exotic meats are often overlooked or forgotten in Australia, yet they are some of the most exciting flavors you will encounter.
The ostrich is the largest living flightless bird in height and is native to Africa. The slightly smaller relative of the ostrich, the emu, is the second largest and is native to Australia. Both types of meat are consumed throughout the country.
Emus were historically only seen along the east coast of Australia, but can now be found both along the coast and inland. They are most common in woodlands and woodlands and usually travel in pairs. A small number of ostriches have been found in the South Australian outback since birds were released into the wild after several ostrich farms failed. Emus are much more common in the wild.
The taste test – What do emu and ostriches taste like?
Despite being poultry, ostriches and emu are red meats with an intense, deep color and flavor. Often compared to beef or game, this meat is very rich in flavor and has a low fat content and high nutritional values.
An excellent alternative for those who love red meat, there are various benefits to switch to emu or ostrich meat:
- Fewer calories
- More proteins
- Much less fat than any meat; 1/4 of the fat of beef and 1/2 of the fat of venison
- Less saturated fat
- Low Cholesterol
- More iron
- Less sodium
- More potassium
- More of the vitamins A, D and E
Although this meat is very low in fat, it is still described as juicy and rich. Those who eat this meat are often surprised that they contain no fat or marble at all. If you like beef, venison, or other game, you’ll love these leaner counterparts.
Emu and ostrich meat, which has been consumed by Indigenous Australians for thousands of years, has recently become increasingly popular, especially among athletes and those seeking healthier diets.
Although this meat is not as popular as some other exotic meats in Australia, such as kangaroo, you can still find them all over supermarkets and on restaurant menus.
Give them a shot the next time you see either one on the menu! You will not be disappointed.
Choosing the best cut
While ostrich and emu meats are similar in taste and appearance to beef, their lack of fat makes them very different to cook with. The main cuts come from the thigh or drum and each needs to be cooked differently.
Thigh cuts should be cooked quickly over high heat, to no more than medium, ideally medium-rare. They should be sliced thinly and then grilled or fried. This cut is ideal in strips for stir-frying or as a steak.
Drums are tougher and are best used for slow cooking with a lot of liquid, such as soup or stew.
Some of the best cuts include:
- Outer Strip
- Fan fillet
- top ver
- Round Tip
Any meat that cannot be recovered as pieces can be ground for burgers or sausages. These are a perfect alternative to pork sausages, which are much fattier.
As well as a twist on a classic barbie problem, emu and ostrich are used in many great recipes. Both types of meat absorb marinades well and are delicious marinated in sweet ingredients such as honey or fruit juice.
Ostrich steak is a delicious, low-calorie substitute for game without flavor replacement. Try serving with roasted vegetables and a red wine sauce for an upscale home-cooked meal for your next date night or dinner party. View this easily recipe!
Emu is perfect for a quick weeknight Asian-inspired stir-fry and can be cooked in minutes. Try using a beef recipe and switch it out for emu meat as a healthy, tasty alternative. Give this recipe an attempt.