Ostrich is far more widely available as a foodstuff in modern times than it has ever been before. This is due in part to the practice of ostrich farming but also to improved storing and packaging techniques such as freezing and vacuum packing. It is a very lean meat so when sold in burger form it will often contain another, fattier meat such as pork to prevent the cooked burgers being served dry and unpalatable. The burgers are also very often seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices as well as the traditional salt and pepper and this varies hugely between producers. Halloumi cheese is a Cypriot cheese made from a combination of goats' and sheep milk. It is a medium soft cheese with a very mild flavor, not dissimilar to mozzarella, and is perfect for broiling (kitchen grilling) or frying.

Ostrich Burgers and Roast Potatoes
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Ostrich burgers with halloumi cheese and apple and plum chutney are served with spicy roast potatoes

The chutney that was prepared as part of this recipe produced a quantity far greater than was actually required at the time but it keeps for several days in a suitable container in the fridge. It was also made the day before the meal proper to allow the flavors greater time to infuse and to cut down on preparation and cooking time on the following evening.

Chutney Ingredients

Chutney Ingredients
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Principal ingredietns for apple and plum chutney

  • 1 Bramley or similar cooking apple
  • 4 ripe red plums
  • ½ small red onion
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon liquid honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Salt and peppe

Directions

Prepared Chutney Ingredients
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Prepared chutney ingredients are added to a saucepan

Peel, core and chop the apple. Stone and roughly chop the plums. Slice the peeled red onion half across the way and separate each slice in to strands. Add all three items to a saucepan along with the remaining ingredients.

Simmering Chutney
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Chutney is brought to a gentle simmer

Put the pot on to an initially high heat and stir well. When the liquid starts to simmer, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle to moderate simmer and cook uncovered for fifteen to twenty minutes, stirring extremely frequently.

Cooling Chutney
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Chutney is left to cool

When the apple and plums are completely broken down, most of the liquid has evaporated and the chutney is thickening nicely, turn off the heat and leave to cool before transferring to a suitable dish and the refrigerator.

Cooled Chutney
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Cooled chutney is added to a plastic dish for refrigerating

Main Dish Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • 6 baby new potatoes
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra for frying burgers
  • 2 teaspoons medium chili powder
  • 2 ostrich burgers
  • 2 ounces (approximately) halloumi cheese
  • 2 burger buns or soft bread rolls
  • 4 teaspoons prepared apple and plum chutney
  • Freshly chopped parsley to garnish

Directions

Boiling Potatoes
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Baby potatoes are put on to boil

Wash the baby potatoes but leave them unpeeled before adding them to a pot of cold, salted water. Bring the water to a simmer for about twenty minutes, so that the potatoes are just cooked. Drain and allow to steam off for ten minutes before returning them to the pot, covering them and leaving them to cool completely.

Spiced Oil
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Vegetable oil is spiced and seasoned

When the potatoes are cool, start your oven preheating to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6.

Pour a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in to a large glass or stone bowl and season with the two teaspoons of chili powder and some salt. Stir well to combine everything together in to a paste.

Oiling Potatoes
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Halved potatoes are turned in spiced oil

Cut the cooked and cooled potatoes in half and add them to the bowl with the spiced oil. Stir fold them through the oil with a wooden spoon until all the pieces are evenly coated.

Oven Ready Potatoes
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Spiced potatoes are ready for roasting

Spread the potato halves out in a single layer on a roasting tray and put the tray in to your oven for twenty-five to thirty minutes. Take it out and give it a gentle shake half way through cooking.

Frying Burgers
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Ostrich burgers are added to hot frying pan

These burgers were bought in a pack with cooking instructions included so any such instructions should be followed. In this instance, it was instructed that the burgers be shallow fried in a little oil over a high heat for three minutes each side. Start them cooking just before you take the potatoes from the oven.

Draining Potatoes
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Roast potatoes are drained in kitchen paper

When you take the potatoes from the oven, lift them with a slotted spoon to a plate covered with kitchen paper and allow them a few minutes to drain.

Turned Burgers
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Burgers are turned to fry on their second sides

When the burgers have been turned in the pan to fry on their second sides, put your broiler (kitchen grill) on to heat to its maximum setting.

Cheese on Burgers
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Halloumi cheese slices are laid on cooked burgers

The halloumi cheese should be sliced to a thickness of around a quarter of an inch before the slices are laid on top of the cooked burgers in the frying pan. Try to make sure the burgers are fully covered by the cheese to prevent them burning under the hot broiler. Put the frying pan on a shelf under the heat for about two to three minutes or until the cheese is just melted.

Burgers on Buns
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Cheeseburgers are lifted on to lightly toasted buns

Cut the burger buns or bread rolls in half. When the burgers come out from under the broiler, toast the rolls on their cut sides until golden before transferring to a serving plate. Lift a cheeseburger on top of each bottom half.

Chutney on Burgers
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Apple and plum chutney is spooned on to cheeseburgers

Spoon a couple of teaspoons of the cooled apple and plum chutney on top of each burger.

Parsley on Burgers
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Parsley is scattered over burgers

Scatter a little parsley over the top of the chutney before closing the rolls over, plating the spicy roast potatoes and finishing off with a garnish of a little more chopped parsley.

Enjoying Burgers
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Enjoying halloumi cheese ostrich burgers with apple and plum chutney