Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Seared Ostrich and Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables Pitta Pocket

Ostrich steak slices and roasted Mediterranean veg in a pitta pocket

I love ostrich meat and its vastly increased availability in recent years means I get the chance to cook and enjoy it more often. The increase in availability is due to a number of factors but principally vacuum packing - which keeps the meat fresh for longer - and ostrich farming now being practiced here in the UK. When I prepared this dish it was with the intention of adding it to my Ostrich Recipes page on Hub Pages but then it occurred to me that I have never before shared an ostrich recipe on this blog - or at least, I don't think I have! So I hope you like this idea and will give it a go if you can get hold of some fresh ostrich steaks. These ones came from my local Lidl and cost £4.99 for three.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

Oven ready 3/4 pound tray of mixed Mediterranean roasting vegetables
2 tablespoons olive or rapeseed oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 pound ostrich steak
Rapeseed, vegetable or sunflower oil for frying
2 handfuls of mixed salad to serve
2 pitta breads
3 or 4 basil leaves rolled and shredded to garnish

Tray of assorted Mediterranean vegetables


You could of course select and buy the roasting vegetables separately but this option is not only easier, it's considerably cheaper! This tray includes cherry tomatoes, courgette (zucchini) slices, red and yellow peppers as well as red onion.

Mediterranean vegetables ready for roasting

The vegetables should be roasted at a fairly high temperature so start by preheating your oven to 220C/450F/Gas Mark 8. While this is happening, drizzle the vegetables with the rapeseed (recommended) or olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Use your hands to turn the veg gently around in the oil and seasoning to ensure even coating. Put the tray on to a large oven tray and in to the hot oven for half an hour.

Side salad is washed thoroughly in cold water

Wash the mixed salad under running cold water and sit on your draining board to drain off.

Ostrich steaks

When the vegetables have been in the oven for about twenty minutes, pour some more rapeseed oil in to a non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a very high heat.

Starting to fry ostrich steak

Fry the ostrich steak for about one and a half minutes (two at the very most) each side until done. You may think it should take longer but it doesn't. It's very lean and cooking it any longer will make it tough.

Ostrich steak is turned in frying pan

Lift the ostrich steak to a board with cooking tongs and very importantly leave it alone like this for three or four minutes to rest.

Ostrich steak is rested for a few minutes

Take the vegetables from the oven and sit them on a convenient board for assembling the dish.

Roasted Mediterranean vegetables removed from oven

When it has been rested, the ostrich steak should be very thinly sliced with a carving knife. You should easily get eight slices from a steak this size.

Rested ostrich steak is thinly sliced

I've used garlic and coriander (cilantro) pitta breads here simply because they are my favourite. You could use an alternative variety - even plain ones - if you prefer.

Garlic and coriander pitta breads

The pitta breads should be heated under your grill/broiler or in your oven, simply by following the instructions on the pack.

Side salad is arranged on plate

While the pitta breads are heating, assemble the salad on the serving plates, shaking off any excess water immediately before you do so.

Reheated pitta bread is cut open

Cut each pitta bread along one side with a sharp knife and use the cooking tongs from earlier to fill alternately with the assorted vegetables and ostrich slices.

Ostrich and roasted vegetables are added alternately to pitta bread pocket

Use the side salad to prop the pitta breads up on the serving plates.

Ostrich and roasted vegetable pitta bread is plated with salad

Garnish with the basil and serve immediately. For best results, eat using your hands.

Tucking in to ostrich and roasted vegetable pitta bread pocket

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