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A hot new food for the outdoor cooking season (The emu is from the ratite family and is a cousin of the ostrich.)
While hot dogs and hamburgers are still mainstays for the occasional out-door chef, true aficionados have expanded their grilling expertise to include many other dishes. Chicken, pork and beef still dominate the scene; but emu joins salmon and shrimp as being one of the new ‘hot foods’ for the out-door cooking season.
A red meat recognized as Heart Healthy by the American Heart Association, emu ranked best in 15 out of 20 essential nutrients in a USDA funded study at the University of Wisconsin. “Emu came out lower in fat, including saturated fats, but higher in protein,” reports American Emu Association president Gerald Edwards. “It was also higher in iron and several other essential vitamins than the other six meats tested.”
For health conscious individuals who want THE Natural Alternative, EMU meat provides better nutrition while being easy and fast to prepare. It offers taste appeal with appetite satisfaction and is recognized as a healthier red meat by the American Heart Association.
Unlike other choices, American EMU meat:
• Provides better health benefits than traditional meat proteins – even chicken or turkey.
• Offers superior nutrition – best in 15 of 20 essentials according to USDA
• Absorbs seasonings better than most meats
• Is raised free-range with no hormones, steroids or antibiotics
The best way to grill this lean red meat? According to Louisiana Chef Dale Bourgeois there is very little shrinkage, so you can use 3/4 the amount of emu vs. other meats. Bourgeois points out that emu requires a shorter cooking time and lower temperature than traditional meats. “When grilling emu steaks, cook to a medium rare to light medium” (150 to 160 degrees), says Bourgeois. “Fully cooked emu will retain a deep red color so care should be taken to avoid over cooking. If you want well done, use a moist cooking method.” According to Bourgeois, marinade time is reduced as emu retains flavors better than most conventional meats. “Emu is mild flavored and responds especially well to sweet marinades," says Bourgeois.
Emu is available in a variety of cuts suitable for the back yard grill, including fillet, flat and fan steaks, medallions, roast, ground and more.
American Emu Association - www.aea-emu.org
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