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Sunday, November 25, 2007

African game meat: Oryx and Ostrich

While in Africa, we had the opportunity to try some game meat at different points along the way. Me being me, I jumped at the chance.

First up was the roast oryx/gemsbok in burgundy sauce that was on the menu in a restaurant in Swakopmund, Namibia.


Oryx are large antelopes with long spear like horns and black facial markings (above on the right). The one above was at a watering hole in Etosha National Park.

When I ordered the meal, I wondered if it was okay to do so (ie were they endangered?). I've just read that Wikipedia says that it is considered a threatened species. o_O Anyway, I'm sure it wouldn't have been on the menu if it wasn't okay or from an okay source (I hope).

Roast oryx

On to the meal - you know how people say, "it tastes like chicken"? Of course it didn't! It tasted like beef but slightly gamier. The texture was very similar to beef.

That same evening, we went to another restaurant in Swakopmund where ostrich steak was on the menu. Ostrich is a dark red meat, and apparently is very low in fat and cholesterol.


Oh, the ostrich. Service at the restaurant was terrible, and I received my meal last - about 20 minutes after Alastair, who got his first! Admittedly, we were a large group, and as our guide Heini always said, "There's no time in Africa!"

As you can see from the photo, the ostrich was rare - very rare. I quite like my meat bloody, but this was too rare and was very chewy (the larger piece was just seared on each side and completely raw in the middle. However, the parts that were cooked a bit more were nice and tender. Again, it tasted like beef but I thought it was slightly milder in flavour.

It wasn't the best steak, but it satisfied my curiosity!

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