Wedding Anniversary dinner – Ostrich steak and Duck breast

For this year’s wedding anniversary dinner, I decided to cook something I had never cooked before – Ostrich steak. As I was uncertain how my wife would react to this new cut of meat, I also cooked sous vide duck breast as I know that she will enjoy this.

As we were eating out for lunch on that day, I had decided to keep things fairly simple for dinner – a platter of fruits and cucumber, main dish of sous vide duck breast served with Italian leafy salad & a dipping sauce, and a side dish of Ostrich steak. I had also decided to open a lovely bottle of red Burgundy that I had bought about 10 years ago, to drink with the celebration.

Gressingham duck breast and Klein Karoo Ostrich fillet steaks

As the Ostrich steak is fairly lean and a good source of protein, I felt it best to cook it via sous vide (water-bath) method. I decided to use a temperature of 55 degrees Celsius, as it means that I can cook  both the duck breasts and the Ostrich steaks at the same time, and not overcook either. They were in the water-bath for about 2 1/2 hours.

Ostrich steaks -vacuum sealed

Prior to serving, I had to pan-fry the duck breasts skin-side down, to liquify the fat. This meant that I had some lovely duck oil to use for searing the Ostrich steaks, and also for making the dipping sauce (made with soy sauce, oyster sauce, honey and a dash of sesame oil). And then the dishes are ready for serving.

Sous vide duck breast served with Italian salad and dipping sauce

Now the thing to say about the Ostrich steaks is that it is certainly a lean cut of meat and not very appealing to my wife, who much prefers the tastiness of the duck breasts.

Sous vide Ostrich steaks seared on both sides in the duck oil

I have taken a close-up of the Ostrich steak, and you can see that it is nicely cooked and tender and still pinkish on the inside. But compared to the duck breasts it lacks the flavours to compete. I felt that it tasted more like pork but the texture was more like a very tender lean roast beef, whereas my wife felt it had no taste (probably because it lacked much fat) at all. So, sadly it is not going to make it back onto the menu, as it is just too lean for my wife’s taste.

Very lean rich meat

Now to accompany the meal, I opened my one and only bottle of Anne Gros Clos Vougeot Le Grand Maupertui 2003. Being a red Burgundy (Pinot noir grape), it went well with the duck breasts and the Ostrich steaks. There were lovely flavours of plum and cherries, with a little pepper and cloves added in. The tannin present was not overpowering. The fact it was worth today nearly 3x what I had paid for it 10 years ago, made drinking it that much more enjoyable; and made looking after and maturing it  all these years very worthwhile.

Anne Gros Clos Vougeot Le Grand Maupertui 2003

What I learnt from the meal?

My wife does not like lean cuts of meat such as Ostrich steaks. It felt like I was eating roast beef, but the meat tasted more like pork to me. Unfortunately I will not be cooking this again, even though it is a lovely source of protein and low fat (great for the health conscious).

Boon