18 June 2008

Benito vs. the Ostrich

Last year I had ostrich for the first time (a burger in Albuquerque), but I've never cooked it before tonight. I picked up a couple of frozen ostrich filets from Wild Oats and marinated them in some Worcestershire sauce and red wine. Following the advice on multiple websites, I pan grilled the filets until medium rare, roughly 140°F. Given the fact that the cut and the preparation was a lot like what I'd do with flank steak or skirt steak, I decided to top it with a mix of sautéed orange bell pepper, shallots, and shiitake mushrooms, and served with some warmed pitas. Sides included steamed green beans and some roasted baby blue potatoes. The potatoes were incredible, bite size and rich in flavor. I roasted them in butter and Corky's seasoning until tender inside and crispy outside.

I really liked the ostrich, and felt that I got to better appreciate the flavor in this format rather than ground. It's somewhere between beef brisket and really flavorful turkey thigh. With that in mind, I felt that a red was a better match than a white and selected the 2001 Muraccio Parrina, $18, 13.5% abv. 80% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Merlot. It comes from the town of Albinia in Tuscany in the province of Grosseto. When the first pour revealed a garnet hue I was concerned that it was oxidized, but with breathing and swirling it revealed a lovely wine that had definitely gotten its beauty sleep. Touch of smoke, hint of eucalyptus. Very mild with light cherry flavors and just a touch of tannins remaining. A real pleasure and a steal at the price.

1 comment:

fredric koeppel said...

ostrich may be bird, but it definitely takes a red wine. I've never cottoned to the taste though; it always reminded me of overcooked liver, the way it was done in my high school cafeteria. perhaps you found the secret.