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Emu

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Preview of Emu

Available

January 1 - December 31

Harvest Period

January 1 - December 31

Ratite is the name for the family of flightless birds that includes the ostrich, emu, and rhea. These ancient birds have been around for more than 80 million years and have long been used for meat and eggs. Female emus lay dark green eggs that can weigh as much as a pound and a half and take two hours to cook at a boil. The birds are also used to make non-food products. General Motors of Canada uses emu feathers to dust cars prior to painting, and emu oil has been used for thousands of years to treat skin conditions and arthritis.

 

Selecting and Storing

 

The most tender cuts of emu are the select cuts that include the fan, top loin, and inside strip. Emu can be purchased from farms or specialty shops in the form of steaks, roasts, sausages, or ground meat. It should be handled in the same fashion as other raw meats. Store it in its original packaging in the coldest part of the fridge and use within two days of purchase, or freeze for up to 9 months. If the meat comes vacuum packed, it will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.

 

Nutritional Information

 

Emu meat is a nutritional power house, high in protein but lower in fat and cholesterol than other meats. It is an excellent source of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins B6 and B12, and pantothenic acid.   Furthermore a serving of emu provides 25% of your iron, phosphorus and zinc requirements as well as 50% of daily selenium needs.

 

3 ounces (85g) of broiled emu rump or drumstick provide 143 calories, 2g fat, 0g carbohydrate, and 29g protein.

 

How to Use

 

Emu meat is similar in texture to beef and can be substituted in any recipe that calls for it or poultry. However, keep in mind that low fat emu will not shrink much so plan accordingly for portion size.

 

Because of its mild flavor, emu meat accepts most seasonings. It responds especially well to sweet marinades made with honey, soy sauce, ginger, lemon juice and garlic. Dry rubs are also good tenderizers.  Two combinations that work well include cumin, dried peppers and garlic; or, allspice, clove, ginger and brandy. Packaged spice mixes, such as taco mix or Italian dressing, also work well.

 

Since emu is a fairly lean meat, it can become tough if overcooked. Emu is best when marinated for several hours and then cooked with moist heat or at a high temperature for a short time, such as on a grill. Take meat off the heat before the pink is out of the middle. Emu meat will continue to cook so let the meat set for several minutes before cutting. Always cut against the grain of the meat.