Spiced Ostrich Steak Salad


Ostrich is by no means a recent addition to the South African palate. We cultivated a taste for it years ago, but my rule of thumb is that if you can cook ostrich, you can cook any game meat. It’s incredibly lean, which means it’s so easy to overcook, but keep your eye on it and you’ll be fine. Ostrich loves a wide array of veggies, which is why this salad is one of my favourite ways to enjoy this fabulous vleisie.

Spiced Ostrich Steak Salad with Brandy Glaze

Preparation Time: 20 minutes | Cooking Time: 40 minutes | Serves 6


for the spice rub

10 ml black peppercorns

10 ml light brown sugar

40 ml coriander seeds

40 ml cumin seeds

5 ml maldon salt

for the ostrich

6 ostrich steaks

olive oil for frying and brushing

2 sprigs thyme

50 ml butter, salted


for the brandy glaze

30 ml soy sauce

60 ml brandy

125 ml thick soy sauce

125 ml water

60 ml pomegranate seeds

5 ml orange zest

80 ml orange juice

for the salad

300 g baby spinach

100 g mixed baby salad leaves

½ butternut

300 g baby carrots

1 sprig thyme

5 g fresh coriander leaves, chopped

olive oil for frying

for the vinaigrette

10 ml worcestershire sauce *optional

5 ml honey

20 ml white balsamic

2 ml maldon salt

5 ml orange zest

30 ml orange juice

60 ml olive oil

30 ml canola oil


for the spice rub

Toast all the spices together in a hot pan for a few seconds, without the salt. This will help to release the flavours. Once toasted place in a mortar and pestle and grind together. Add the salt and adjust if needed.

for the ostrich

Brush the steaks with a small amount of olive oil and cover with the spice rub. Heat a large pan on the stovetop. Once the pan is hot, add olive oil and thyme. Place the steaks in the pan to sear and add butter. We recommend searing the steaks to a rare or medium-rare temperature. If you decide to cook the steak well done, marinade overnight with olive oil and thyme. Allow the steak to rest before slicing.


for the vinaigrette

Whisk all the ingredients together except for the oils. Once all the ingredients are well combined, slowly whisk in the oil. The Worcestershire sauce adds a depth of flavour to the vinaigrette that will add a biltong-like flavour when having it with the ostrich.

for the brandy glaze

Place all the ingredients in a small pot and cook over a medium heat for 30 – 40 minutes or until the sauce has a thick, honey-like consistency. Place in a bowl and leave at room temperature. Add the sliced ostrich steak and allow to marinade for at least 10 minutes before adding to the salad.


for the salad

Use a Parisian scoop or melon baller to scoop out the butternut to make spheres. Blanch the butternut and toss in the vinaigrette while warm to absorb the flavours. Add the chopped coriander leaves and season with salt.

Roast the baby carrots in a large pan with a small amount of olive oil and freshly picked thyme until tender and golden brown in colour.

Assemble the salad by dressing the baby spinach and salad leaves in the vinaigrette, and place them as the base layer on a plate. Add the sliced ostrich and vegetables. Drizzle more glaze over the salad just before serving. This salad is best served while the baby spinach and salad leaves are cold with the remaining ingredients at room temperature.

Note: Keep the leftover butternut to make a soup or roasted butternut.

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