Kezie Foods: Partially Cooked Ostrich Fan Fillet
This week my continued adventures with Kezie Foods took me back to Africa, with one of their partially cooked Ostrich Fan Fillets. Ostrich is becoming more and more common as a meat option, and as far as exotic meats go may well be the most frequently tried. I've personally had ostrich burgers in the past and thoroughly enjoyed them, but this was to be my first taste of an actual cut of meat.
The fan fillet is from the upper inner thigh of the ostrich, and is descirbed as the most tender cut from the bird by Kezie. The partial-cooking before the freezing stage supposedly seals in the freshness, so I was looking forward to seeing how it tasted!
As with the kangeroo steak, I decided to fry this up lightly and to have it unseasoned so as not too interfere with the bird's natural flavour. After leaving the fillet out for a few minutes to mosey on towards room temperature, I heated up some sunflower oil in a pan (again, I refer olive oil but wanted a more neutral flavour) and decided to give it three minutes on ech side.
The first thing I noticed before even dropping it into the pan was that it looked much more like a red meat than a bird, and if I didn't know it was ostrich I probably would have thought it came from a four-legged source! I didn't stop to wonder at this for too long though, as I had a sizzling pan and a rumbling belly!
After three minutes on each side it seemed to be cooked well enough for my taste, so I served it up with a plate of curly fries - this may sound like sacriledge but I just wanted something quick and simple, and there was an abundance of them in my freezer!
My first impression of the ostrich was a very good one - Kezie's description of it as the most tender cut seemed to be accurate, and my steak knife slid through the fillet with ease even when cutting against the grain. The three minutes on each side seemed to have cooked the fillet just right, with a nice red centre surrounded by a pinkish halo, so it was time for the all-important taste test!
And boy, what a taste! The tenderness of the meat gave just enough resistance, and the flavour came bursting through instantly. As the uncooked appearence indicated, ostrich is much more like red meat than a bird, and has a very strong, rich, meaty flavour to it, leaving an almost tangy aftertaste once finished. I'm a big fan of steaks (Tuesday night is traditionally my steak night!), and I'd happily view this as an alternative to beef, ticking all of the same boxes but not feeling quite so heavy on the way down. It certainly isn't shy with its flavour, and could certainly be seasoned without losing its identity.
Ostrich fan fillet is one of the pricier meats on Kezie's menu, with a single 200g portion costing £6.18, so it's better suited as an occasional treat rather than a regular choice, but I'd have to describe it as a must-try meat for any carnivore!