Grilled Ostrich Smothered in Garlic Herb Butter

Ostriches are a true oddity. First, there’s the whole 8-foot tall thing, the freakishly long neck and the large wings that have no flight capabilities whatsoever. Then there’s the fact that the meat does not remotely resemble meat from more commonly eaten birds like chicken, turkey or quail. In fact ostrich meat is similar to beef. Like beef, ostrich is sold in cuts such as filets, medallions, roasts and burgers. Unlike beef, ostrich meat is not rippled with fat. While some people think the low fat content of ostrich is its biggest selling point, we see this as a slight downside. We’re willing to overlook this minor quibble because we like the mild, meaty flavor. And we take things into our own hands anyway and add a little fat back into the equation by serving ostrich with a favorite savory topping: garlic herb butter.

Smeared on a hot filet or medallion off the grill, garlic herb butter melts into a luscious puddle, giving the lean meat extra juicy flavor. In this recipe for Grilled Ostrich Smothered in Garlic Herb Butter, the ostrich medallions have been gently seasoned then grilled to medium rare, resulting in a tender, hearty cut of meat. Herb butter can also be used to finish slow-cooked ostrich roasts and as a topping to grilled ostrich burgers.

Ostrich might sound like exotic meat, but when you try your first bite you’ll realize it’s anything but. In fact, we’re willing to bet you could serve it to a table of picky eaters without any complaints. It just might be the most delicious bird (that doesn’t taste anything like a bird) you’ll ever eat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of ostrich medallions or filets, about 3/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped herbs, such as chives, parsley or rosemary

Instructions:

Heat grill to medium-high.

Mix together black pepper, salt and coriander and rub all over the meat.

Grill 5-7 minutes on each side, until internal temperature is around 145 and meat is medium to medium rare. Do not cook to well-done or the meat will be dry and tough.

In a bowl, mash together butter, garlic and herbs.

Remove meat from the grill and top with herb butter.


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24 thoughts on “Grilled Ostrich Smothered in Garlic Herb Butter”

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  1. If anyone is reading this and thinking “Ostrich; not really sure about that” I’d really recommend giving it a try – very nice meat. There are a couple of ostrich farms near where I grew up in England so I got to try it a fair bit.

    In related news if you think they’re weird normally imagine strolling through the english country side and having one pop its head up over the top of a hedge next to you. Pretty freaky!

    1. Thanks for the positive input! I am a little trepidatious about ostrich, but this recipe sounds so delicious that I want to try it!

  2. MMMMM…. I’m heading to our local river city market and meat market today. I am totally going to try to find some! You cost me a lot of money Mark. But I’ve never eaten so well! LOL

    1. There several for sure, just wondering if anyone knows a reputable/humane supplier. When I lived in Hollywood, we could buy all sorts of sourced meats and even visit the farms to see how the animals were raised and fed. I once made the mistake of getting “patsured free range” chickens from the Hollywood Farmer’s MKT without checking into the farm – only to find out later they were buying chickens from a supplier.

  3. Looks tasty but I’m not fussed with the expensive low fat meats like sirloin steak, chicken breasts or ostrich. I’d sooner spend any extra money on local honey (some made just down the road) or organic veggies 🙂

  4. On a related note incidentally I understand that the USA (specifically texas) had an emu farming bubble which burst (the UK had a similar experience with ostrich) so a) it’s possible to find (and if so minded hunt) feral emu in parts of the US and b) it may be possible to find emu meat too in the US (and it might be cheaper and substantially similar).

    1. Yes, my friend wound up with an emu he keeps as a pet. He got it for almost nothing when the bubble burst.

      I don’t know how emu and ostrich compare on price and taste, but now this post gives me the incentive to go find out.

      1. It’s really too bad this post is from six and a half years ago, because I’m just dying to find out if julietx ate her friend’s emu.

  5. I’m from NY. Anyone know where I can get ostrich meat from? Never seen it sold before would love to try it!

    1. Where in NY. If you are in NYC the farmers market in Union Square Park has an Ostrich Vendor.

  6. I missed out on the ostrich craze a 10 or so years ago in the US. A neighbor of mine had Rheas and gave us some meat and it was damn tasty! I would imagine it’s similar to ostrich

  7. Awesome recipe but where do I buy some ostrich at a reasonable price? I bought some ground goat today at $7.99 which is much more expensive then the $3.50 100% grass-fed beef I buy since I buy 1/4 at a time. I imagine ostrich is much more then even $7.99.

    But, I guess I would try it! Tell me where to buy!

  8. Love me some ostrich!!! It’s the only thing I eat when I do tepenyaki (pass on the rice, of course.)

    It’s extremely tender. With the right amount of butter, it’s my favorite meat! If you haven’t tried it, don’t be timid–go for the gusto!

  9. I grew up in Oudtshoorn, South Africa, which is the world capital of ostrich. We export ostrich meat, leather and feathers (and lots of it).

    I grew up eating the meat regularly (say about twice in three weeks). Like Mark says, it tastes pretty much like beef. Maybe a little more gamey. The steaks are good, cutting it into cubes makes a brilliant stew, and don’t forget jerky. Ostrich jerky is almost unparalleled when it comes to flavour.

    Anyway, hope you guys manage to find some.

  10. Yummo! I love ostrich. Now where does one get ostrich meat? I have a whole foods, fresh market and local co-op. Would I find some there?

  11. I’ve been looking for ostrich meat. They have none here. None at Whole Foods or any market/butcher place.

  12. It seems people are turned off eating more unusual animals (I’m not referring to endangered species here!!!)
    but the more these various animals are farmed rather than just living in the wild (where I hope most of them can live in peace) the more a variety of species can survive.

    Have you tried crocodile or water buffalo, snake etc.? Quite tasty though I still prefer lamb (not mutton).