Eating ostriches and emu meat, dishes from ostriches and emu, ostrich curry recipe with coriander. Extreme cuisine.

I love ostriches. I, like many, are attracted to unusual representatives of the animal world: giraffes, platypuses, elephants and other creatures that amaze the imagination. Animals that are as if assembled from parts of completely different species or which, it would seem, are unjustifiably, unnaturally large. 

Eating ostriches and emu meat, dishes from ostriches and emu, ostrich curry recipe with coriander. Extreme cuisine.

They are perceived as a joke of mother nature, along with dinosaurs and bats. Ostriches, with their long bare neck and legs, with feather-covered barrel-shaped body and huge, expressive eyes, cannot but like, nor can and not amaze.

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The first ostrich farms appeared in the second half of the XIX century – when Charles Darwin already appreciated the advantages of ostrich. And by the beginning of the 20th century, they had spread from South Africa and Australia to Algeria, France and the United States. Ostrich feathers were in fashion. They made panicles for whisking dust and plumes, with which expensive ladies’ hats and cabaret dancer costumes were decorated. The vaudeville queen, the unsurpassed star of the music halls of Europe and America in the 20-40s of the last century, Sally Rand became famous for her dance with a large ostrich fan, behind which she skillfully hid her nakedness from the public. When the fashion for feathers – and fan dancing – passed, the ostrich farms disappeared. But today they are degenerate. This time, not only feathers are in demand, but rather the meat and skin of birds..

When people around the world began looking for an alternative to beef – meat with a lower cholesterol content, ostrich farms began to grow like mushrooms after the rain, from China to Holland, from Israel to the United States. In 1997, there were about 70 thousand ostriches in Australia. In the same year, in China, just two years after the first eight ostriches were imported into this country, there were already 400 farms in 20 provinces across the country with a total population of 80 thousand birds. Then in South Africa there were more than a quarter of a million ostriches. And in the United States, 10 thousand farmers kept 500 thousand birds. Mostly in the southern and southwestern states, where nature and climate most closely match the natural conditions of their habitat. Even in cold Canada, heated ostrich farms operate and thrive in almost all provinces..

Ostriches, as well as emu and nandu belong to the order of ratites, not flying birds. Australian emus, birds, the second largest after ostriches, were once found in many on the expanses of the Green Continent. Today, their distribution area is limited to the western regions of Australia and a place of honor on the national emblem. Nanda live in grassy pampas of Brazil and to the south. Another flightless bird, a cassowary, much smaller and with a shorter neck, resembling a hybrid of a small ostrich and turkey, lives in New Guinea. All ratites are edible, however, the largest commercial representatives, as the sources of protein, enjoy the greatest commercial success..

The leader in the gastronomic race, ahead of his two competitors, is an ankled emu. In Australia alone, out of the 500 chickens that were fed in 1985, a herd of more than 470,000 animals was formed by 1995, which is significantly more than the number of ostriches of that time. In Australia and elsewhere, emu meat is often given out in restaurants as ostriches, simply because their larger congener is better known. When travelers return home and say they ate emu, friends often do not understand what it is about. If we say that we ate ostrich steaks, okhs and akhs are provided.

Such a story tells how a modern “ostrich” market was formed. In a 1993 Ostrich News issue, Day-O owners talk about how they were intrigued by the idea of ​​investing in a 400-pound bird, which tastes like beef and less fat than chicken and turkeys, whose 14-20 square feet of leather (worth $ 40-50 per square foot for wholesale) are great for making shoes, briefcases, wallets, etc., with feathers that you can dust off with a brand new car and electronic boards, and besides eating eggs weighing three and a half pounds, corresponding to 24 chicken.

However, inquiring how much a couple of birds cost, the farmers laughed and, instead of a new living creature, bought a nursery for growing spruce. Later, when the market for meat, oil, skin and ostrich feathers began to develop rapidly, they still changed their minds, and today Day-O is one of many manufacturers singing hosannah to these birds on the Internet. By the beginning of the 1990s, ostriches turned into an exotic and fashionable investment object, like minks and chinchillas at one time, in the breeding of which people invested, hoping to make good money by selling skins.

In 1993, ostrich farms sold just hatching chickens at $ 600 for a couple, two-three-month-olds at 2 thousand for those who wanted to start their own business, and asked 25 thousand for a couple of adult birds! In 1994, the cost of a sexually mature couple of emu reached 100 thousand dollars! Although the amount of the initial outlay was significant, the newcomers could count on the fact that in captivity a healthy female ostrich is able to lay up to 50 eggs a year and that already at the age of one year, birds gain marketable weight. Given the high price of ostrich meat, profits were almost guaranteed. One newly made New Zealand farmer named his first two birds Cash and Flow (together they form a financial term meaning “cash flow”).

In addition to a bank account, novice farmers should also have patience. “You will have to wait two to three years for real returns,” Raymond Lam, managing director of Global Ostrich Investments, Ltd., told me in 1997. Lam represented one of the companies that sold property rights to live birds that were raised on Australian farms. The idea was as follows. Investors became the owners of the birds and provided the opportunity for farmers to do things they knew well. Each side received its share of profit as soon as the birds began to breed. The concept of acquiring these peculiar “ostrich futures” has critics.

Ostrich meat dishes began to appear on the menu of restaurants around the world, and ostrich meat itself appeared on supermarket shelves in large cities. The tan skin of birds with characteristic evenly distributed dark dots turns into boots, shoes, belts, handbags and wallets. 70% of the skin is shipped to Japan. Ostrich oil is included in cosmetics and medicines. It turned out that no static electricity was generated on ostrich feathers, which means that dust can be completely removed with their help. For this reason, car bodies and halves of computer disks are fanned by ostrich feathers before painting before gluing..

An additional impetus to the development of the ostrich meat market was given by mad cow disease, which sharply reduced the consumption of beef in Europe in 1996. The search for alternative sources of protein has provided ostrich many new fans. It looks like beef, and its taste is like that of beef, in addition, there is no risk associated with mad cow disease, although a warning from the Ministry of Health of Thailand that fleas that carry deadly fever can live on the body of a tar can be considered.

Due to its low fat content, ostrich meat was recognized as the lowest-calorie meat among eighteen of its species, including pig, rabbit, chicken and duck meat. It contains higher levels of “good” cholesterol and lower levels of “bad” cholesterol. In addition to everything, an ostrich “leg” can weigh up to 7 kilograms. At one time, first-class British Airways passengers were offered ostrich chops; Today, this bird’s meat dishes will be served at the best restaurants from Dallas to London and Singapore at a price of about $ 60 per serving of fillet or tenderloin..

Once upon a time, ostrich meat (like emu and nandu) was cooked simply: cut into steaks and grilled on a skewer. Those days are gone, along with a feather boa and a plume on hats. Now the bird is cooked and served with all the intricacy appropriate for a real gourmet dish. “Australian Ostrich Co. Ltd. ”publishes a glossy brochure with many recipes, among which (get a full chest of air) -“ Ostrich curry with coriander, rice garnish with cardamom flavor and cucumber riata ”and (another deep breath)“ Bengali ostrich with five spices, Moroccan couscous and tomato salsa. ” Impossible to resist.

Ostrich Curry Recipe with Coriander.

100 g ostrich fillet, diced.
100 g butter.
5 onions, finely chopped.
1 clove garlic, crushed.
1 tbsp. spoon of green curry paste.
1 tbsp. spoon of sambol.
3 sheets of lime, fresh or dried.
Bunch of coriander.
400 ml natural yogurt.
1 diced cucumber.
1 kg long rice, washed and dried.
5 boxes of cardamom.
10 pappadams.

Melt the butter and fry the onions and garlic until translucent. Add ostrich fillet and simmer until lightly browned. Add curry paste, sambol and lime leaves and simmer under the lid until the meat is tender (about 2 hours). Then add chopped coriander. Mix yogurt and cucumber and put this mixture in the refrigerator. Pour rice and cardamom into a large saucepan and pour twice as large a layer of cold water.

Bring to a boil and cook under a lid over low heat for 15 minutes, until rice is ready. Soak the pappadams in water and, when they become softer, cut into strips and fry in a large amount of oil until golden brown. In each plate on cardamom rice, put a spoonful of about 200 g of ostrich oat curry, garnish the dish with strips of pappadam. Serve with 50 ml of cucumber riata.

Based on the book Extreme Cuisine.
Jerry Hopkins.

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