Thursday, 21 September 2017

Scottish Ostrich and Root Vegetables Stew

Scottish ostrich and various root vegetables stew

The idea of ostrich being included in an authentic Scottish recipe would have been entirely laughable just a few short years ago. The reason this has changed is not only due to the everyday capacity for deep freezing, modern vacuum packing techniques for food items and faster transport, it is due to ostriches actually being farmed right here in Scotland before their home reared meat is sold on to food production companies or directly to consumers at places such as farmers' markets. This recipe simply features ostrich instead of the beef in what would otherwise be a very authentic Scottish stew.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

3/4 pound (325g) diced ostrich meat
2 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil
1/2 medium sized white onion
2 medium carrots
1 medium parsnip
1/2 medium sized Swede turnip (rutabaga)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper
1 pint (568ml) fresh beef stock

Sliced onion is added to browned ostrich meat


Pour the vegetable oil in to a large saucepan and bring it up to a medium heat. Add the diced ostrich meat and saute for a couple of minutes, just until all the pieces are evenly sealed. Peel the onion and half down through the centre before laying one half flat and slicing moderately thinly across the way. The other onion half will easily keep in the fridge for a couple of days. The onion slices should be added to the pot and stirred for a couple of minutes just until they start to soften and glisten.

Carrots, turnip and parsnip

The lean ostrich meat will require long, slow cooking in comparison to beef so it is important to chop the vegetables large enough that they will hold their shape. The parsnip and Swede should be peeled but the carrots (provided the skin is not too damaged) can simply be washed, topped and tailed.

Vegetables and seasonings are added to ostrich and onion

Put the chopped vegetables in to the pot and season well with salt, pepper and the dried thyme.

Stew is brought to a gentle simmer

Pour the beef stock in to the saucepan and give everything a thorough stir. Bring the stock to a boil, cover and simmer as gently as possible for two hours or until the ostrich meat is tender. Stir occasionally and monitor the liquid level, adding a little boiling water if necessary to prevent drying out.

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