Archive for February 2009

Ostrich ragu

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wow, that really doesn’t sound very good at all, but it was actually delicious.

Yesterday, on my way back from the car shop, I saw a butcher specializing in organic/local/grassfed meats and decided to stop in and take a look. Rahul called while I was in there and I asked him what he wanted. He said, “how about some ground ostrich?” and was perhaps a little surprised when I actually brought it home.

They had it frozen, from a local farm called Golden Dreams Ostrich Farm. I defrosted it in the fridge last night, and cooked it up for dinner tonight.

Ostrich Ragu

1 lb. (?) ground ostrich meat

1 small onion, diced

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

3 ribs celery, diced

(all of the above ingredients are approximate, since I chopped up veggies for a stew as well and just shoved some off the cutting board into each pan)

3 cloves of garlic, minced (I actually ran out of fresh garlic and used the tiny frozen garlic cubes from Trader Joe’s)

1 Tbsp turbinado sugar

Soy sauce


Fennel seeds

Two small tomatoes, diced (I used heirloom tomatoes, frozen, from the summer farmer’s market: one green and one red. Instead of dicing, I threw the whole things into the pan, discarded the peel once it came off, and smooshed up the tomatoes once they thawed all the way through)

1 can chopped tomatoes in juice

3 tsp chopped basil (I used the tiny frozen basil cubes from Trader Joe’s)

Ground nutmeg

Dried sage

About 1/2 cup Shiraz (Trader Joe’s, again–3-buck Chuck, I think it is now)

About 1 cup lowfat milk

Olive oil

1/2 lb dried fettucine

Set a pot of water to boil for the pasta.

Pour a bit of olive oil into a saucepan and brown the ground ostrich (it’s quite lowfat and doesn’t render off enough fat on its own). Pour some soy sauce into the meat as it’s cooking, and smoosh it up with a spatula to keep it from sticking together.

Remove the browned meat, top up the oil if necessary, and brown the onions, celery, and carrots. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two more.

Pour the red wine over the mixture, add the meat back in, and stir, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

Once the wine is absorbed or mostly cooked off, pour in the milk.  Cook, stirring frequently, until it has mostly reduced down. Add the canned and fresh/frozen tomatoes, nutmeg, fennel, sage, sugar, and salt. Simmer until almost ready, then butta la pasta and add the basil to the sauce. The sauce will be more brownish/creamy colored than red; I read a description once of ragu being “a sauce with tomato in it” rather than “a tomato sauce.”


Written by orata

February 21, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Posted in recipes