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cooking lean game( ostrich, kangaroo)

hi, so i have some ostrich. how do i cook it so it does not taste like rubber tyre. i cooked some ostrich and kangaroo meat recently and they were really tough. i just seared them for like a min on each side.
is brining the key?would oven braising low and slow be the way to go? help!?!

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  1. braising is best with fattier tought cuts.

    you could try wrapping with some bacon/belly meat to keep them basting in fat.

    i have no clue about those meats though i'm basing this off of venison, ostrich looked good on tv though. maybe an aussie specific cooking site could help more.

    3 Replies
      1. re: ChiliDude

        they ain't ground and i don't have a processor

        1. re: keepquiet

          I do not use ground meat when I make chili. I buy a roast weighing around 5 pounds and cut it into cubes as if I'm making beef stew. Since my wife is unable to tolerate extreme pungency I have 5 or 6 meals out of that amount of meat. My chili is made with incendiary home grown chiles.

    1. I love roo and the best way I've found is to marinate it and sear it. I eat meat blue anyway, but I recommend cooking it as little as possible. It also depends on what part of the roo you're eating. If it's tail you can make a really nice roo tail stew, but fillet is best cooked quickly. I also like it on skewers and grilled. I don't know much about brining, but no-one I know cooks roo like that. Good luck with it and I would say persevere - kangaroo is a fantastic meat and absolutely delicious.

      I can tell a story about when I was a student nurse living in a very remote part of Australia where many traditional Aboriginal customs were in place. I was working in a nursing home and some guys came in and said they'd speared a roo and did we want it for the residents. We did our best to provide traditional indigenous food to the residents so I welcomed them in and told them to bring it through to the kitchen. What they hadn't mentioned was that they'd speared it 2 or 3 days previously and to 'preserve' it they'd chucked the animal whole (fur and all) on to a fire for the night, then thrown it in the back of their 4WD until they got back to town. I didn't quite know what to say as they dragged it through the nursing home, but I thanked them and quickly tracked someone down to get help disposing of it.

      Fun times.

      1. Never had roo, but I love ostrich. I wouldn't brine it, not my favorite - it changes the textures of meats way too much, imo. Olive oil, spices and herbs, and then grill it very high heat to a rare or med rare at the absolute most.

        1. It depends on what cut of the animal it is, is there a lot of connective tissue and fat? Is it a leaner cut that doesn't get a lot of work? These are the essential questions.

          2 Replies
          1. re: rezpeni

            not sure what cut...but, they came in fillets...but isn't ostrich/roo already very lean regardless of the cut?

            1. re: keepquiet

              I don't know much about ostrich (not had the pleasure yet) but roo is very lean. That's part of the reason why they're trying to promote it more heavily - very low cholesterol and very high in protein. And it tastes good. I don't know what they're selling where you live, but if you're not in Australia it will most likely be fillet or backstrap.

              I have done roo backstrap in pomegranate molasses and dukkah and roasted it on high heat, but otherwise I'd still stick with searing it on a very high heat. Oh, the other possible method (if you have the time/inclination/space/experience) is to cook it in ash in the ground. It's a traditional Australian Aboriginal method of cooking and is fantastic, but of course depends upon whether you can take advantage of such a method.

          2. If it's like an ostrich steak, sear it, don't cook it even medium. It's so lean that it gets dried out very easily. Same with burgers; they cannot be cooked much and have any juiciness left at all. I'd add butter, bacon, as others have said, or avoid ostrich (and lean bison, too) altogether! :-)

            1. ok, so i actually tried to brine it overnight( 2 cups h2o+2 tbsp salt+pepper+bayleaf+corainder seeds) then sear it for lika min a side. but they were super tough and chewy. but they i further coke dthe leftovers, they were surprisingly easier to chew?...confused. i want t try some real good RARE game!

              1 Reply
              1. re: keepquiet

                Hmmm, maybe you just unfortunately got an old kangaroo that's maybe been hopping around for too long? Roo will never be meltingly tender (unless someone knows something I don't), but I've never had rubber tyre meat either. The only other thing I can suggest (as previously) is roo tail soup. I don't know if you can get a hold of the tail (I'm assuming you're not in Australia), but here is a recipe for it anyway:


                I don't know if you'll be able to get the bush tomato and lemon myrtle as they are native to Australia, but if you're really keen you can order them from here:


                These guys from A Taste Of The Bush also make some awesome dukkahs from Australian bush ingredients. I also like their oils and caramalised balsamics.

                Otherwise you can substitute the lemon myrtle for about 3 teaspoons of lemon zest and the bush tomato for a tablespoon or so of tomato paste.

                Good luck!