Licorice-Dusted Ostrich Loin with Farro and Figs

Ingredients

For the sauce

  • dried figs, halved
  • 3 Cups  red wine
  • 2 Tablespoons  honey
  •   Juice of 1 orange
  • sprig thyme

For the farro

  • 1/2 Cup  olive oil
  • shallots, sliced thinly
  • 1 Tablespoon  butter
  • 2 Cups  dried farro
  • 1 Tablespoon  kosher salt
  • bay leaf
  • gallon chicken stock

For the ostrich

  • 1 Tablespoon  star anise
  • 1 Tablespoon  anise seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon  fennel seeds
  • licorice stick, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 Tablespoon  whole coriander seeds
  • 2 1/2 Pounds  ostrich loin
  •   Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1 Teaspoon  unsalted butter
  • 1 Teaspoon  orange zest

This item is on the menu seasonally at Tramonto's Steak & Seafood located in Wheeling, Ill. Ostrich is a lean source of meat and tastes similar to beef. It has less total fat and saturated fat than skinless chicken breast, and is similarly low in cholesterol.

Click here to see Best Ostrich Recipes.

Directions

For the sauce

Place the figs in a small saucepot, add the wine, and soak overnight. The following day, remove the figs from the wine and reserve for serving. Add the honey, orange juice, and thyme and begin to reduce the mixture by 2/3 over low heat — it should become a light glaze. Set aside.

For the farro

Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepot over medium heat. Add the shallots. Cook just until translucent, then add the butter and wait for it to foam. Add the farro and kosher salt. 

Stir the farro until it begins to toast. (The color will slightly deepen and a heavy nutty aroma will begin seeping from the pot.) Stir the farro vigorously so it will not stick. Once fully toasted, add the bay leaf and chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

Reduce the heat to low and cook the farro, stirring often, until there is not much bite left, about 30 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the heat and set aside.

For the ostrich

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small skillet, toast all of the spices over low heat until they begin to emit a heavy odor. Then, place them into a clean coffee grinder and grind into a fine powder. Season the ostrich loin with salt and pepper, to taste, then generously rub the spice mix into the meat.

Heat a sauté pan over very high heat. Add the olive oil and allow it to smoke. Then, add the ostrich loin to the pan. The spices will begin to smoke so turn the loin often, allowing each side to get dark brown and seared.

Transfer the loin to a baking sheet and place in the oven until the internal temperature has reached 130 degrees, for 10-15 minutes (medium-rare). Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 8 minutes. 

Divide the cooked farro among 4 plates. Slice the ostrich into ¼-inch-thick slices and arrange between 5 and 6 slices on top of the farro on each plate. Place the figs back into the glaze and add the butter.

Stir the butter into the sauce, add the orange zest, place 2 fig halves on each plate, and drizzle the glaze around. Serve immediately.

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