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Ostrich steak with cranberry compote and blue cheese

Blue cheese and berries with ostrich might sound a tad gimmicky, but this recipe is an absolute winner and so easy to make. Impress your friends with this punchy yet elegant flavour combo paired with a glass of Spier 21 Gables Pinotage for your next braai – they’ll be back for more!

Note: These steaks can be pan-fried or grilled over a fire – do whatever you prefer. The cranberry compote will keep well in the fridge for a few weeks, and also works great as part of a casual cheese platter.

For the compote: (serves 4)
•   100g (about 1 cup) dried cranberries
•   250ml (1 cup) red wine
•   1 whole star anise
•   1 cinnamon stick

For the steak:
•  800g to 1kg ostrich steaks
•  30ml (2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
•  Salt and pepper
•  One-batch cranberry compote (see above)
•  125-200g blue cheese

Make the compote: Place the cranberries, red wine, star anise and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan, cover with a lid and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, then remove the lid – the cranberries should have plumped up. Continue to simmer until the wine has reduced to a very little amount, but not completely disappearing. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. (Transfer to a glass container with a lid and refrigerate until ready to use, if you’re not going to use it immediately.)
Drizzle the steaks on both sides with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Preheat an iron skillet or non-stick pan until very hot, then grill on both sides until the required pinkness (medium rare is great for ostrich, and should be around 3 and a half minutes a side for thickness of 2-2,5 cm). Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes before slicing/serving. If you’d prefer to, grill the steaks over hot coals for the same amount of time instead.
Serve the steaks hot – whole or thinly sliced, topped with cranberry compote and crumbled blue cheese.

About the wine:
The 21 Gables Pinotage is a powerfully-styled wine that offers remarkable refinement and character. Black in colour with a deep core, the nose starts with dense cassis, cold coffee and a hint of caramel. With air, enticing umami notes appear, drawing you closer. Richly textured, tannic and brooding, the palate exudes black fruits, dark chocolate, baked herbs and meaty spice. There is terrific balance of rich fruit, dry tannins and savoury complexity. Tautly strung yet fine tannins offer a luxurious and velvety mouthfeel. Peak drinking is around 2022, although the wine will keep even longer.

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