Reimagining the Holiday Bird

Written by | Food, Wellness

You’ve torn through turkeys, churned out chickens and maybe even gone for a goose. But when it comes to serving up a bird for the holidays, it might be time to think bigger: ostrich.


Photo by Gayle Van Wely

This year, we’re serving up five spice ostrich filet with pork braised apple and turnip with walnuts and trumpet mushrooms and a shallot and red wine ostrich jus. Ostrich is beef without the baggage. It has the texture and taste of filet mignon with 40% less fat. Like red meat, it is rich in protein and iron, yet lower in calories and cholesterol than even skinless chicken or turkey. As for the rest of the plate: both apples and red wine are excellent sources of antioxidants, walnuts provide Vitamin E and healthy omega-3 fats and mushrooms are rich in essential B vitamins. Find instructions for preparing the ostrich below.


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp five spice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 shallots, cut in half
  • 2 clove garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 sprigs of savory herb or rosemary
  • 4 6oz ostrich fillets
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • garlic powder


Mix five spice, cumin, garlic powder and ground black peppercorn with a mortar and pestle. Generously massage this mixture into the ostrich; then drizzle olive oil over the seasoned filets and leave to marinate for 15 minutes. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for three minutes (or until softened). Add the ostrich to the pan and sear for one minute on each side. Next, turn the heat to medium-low, add the garlic and finish cooking the ostrich for two additional minutes on each side. Finally, remove from the pan and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing. Dress plate with accoutrement and jus as pictured. Serves four.

For more gorgeous dishes, check out Gayle’s Instagram page.

Last modified: December 19, 2017

One Response to :
Reimagining the Holiday Bird

  1. Puckster says:

    That looks amazing! Are you sure it’s not beef?

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