Aoudad, also known as Barbary sheep or waddling sheep, is a type of wild sheep that is mostly found in the rocky areas of North Africa.
Aoudads were introduced in different parts of the world as game animals.
Aoudad meat is increasingly becoming popular among meat lovers and is sought after by many restaurants for their unique taste.
But what does aoudad taste like?
In this article, we explore everything you need to know about aoudad’s taste, cooking, pairing, and storage tips.
What is Aoudad?
Aoudad is a wild mountain sheep that is primarily found in North Africa. They are closely related to the domestic sheep and have a coarse, thick layer of fur coat that protects them from harsh weather conditions.
Aoudads can survive in arid and rocky terrains and can go without water for long periods. A mature aoudad can weigh up to 300lbs and stands about three feet at the shoulder. The male sheep have thick, curved horns that can grow up to three feet in length.
Aoudad Meat Taste and Flavor
Aoudad meat has a unique taste and flavor profile compared to other wild game meat like venison, elk, or buffalo.
Aoudad meat is lean and has a more pronounced taste than regular domestic sheep meat. Aoudad meat is said to taste sweeter than most game meat, with a mild game flavor. The flavor of the meat can vary based on the age of the animal, what the animal eats, and how it was processed.
Aoudad meat has a similar taste profile to venison, with a mild sweetness and slightly gamey flavor.
The texture of aoudad meat is also unique; it is leaner, more tender, and less marbled than regular sheep meat.
Aoudad meat is also less fatty compared to other game meat like elk, buffalo, or venison. The meat has a firm texture with moderate toughness, making it well-suited for different preparations like grilling, roasting, and braising.
Cooking and Serving Aoudad Meat
Cooking aoudad meat is easy, and it can be done in various ways. The cooking method you choose depends on your preference and the cut of meat. Here are some cooking methods that you can use to prepare aoudad meat.
Grilling is one of the most popular ways to prepare aoudad meat. To grill aoudad meat, season the meat with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Let the meat sit for around 20 minutes at room temperature before placing it on the grill.
Preheat the grill to high heat, sear the aoudad meat for three minutes on each side, then reduce the heat to medium and continue to grill the meat for an additional five minutes on each side. Let the meat rest for a few minutes before slicing it.
Roasting is another popular way to prepare aoudad meat. To roast aoudad meat, preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C, season the meat with your favorite herbs and spices, then place it on a roasting pan.
Roast the meat for about 15 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F/60°C. Let the meat rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Braising is an excellent way to prepare tougher cuts of aoudad meat. Start by searing the meat in a pan, then transfer it to a pot.
Add stock or broth, vegetables, herbs, and spices to the pot and bring it to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and let the meat simmer for two hours or until it becomes fork-tender.
Pairing Suggestions for Aoudad Meat
Aoudad meat has a sweet and gamey flavor that pairs well with a range of ingredients, herbs, and spices. When it comes to pairing aoudad meat with other foods, the options are endless. Here are some pairing suggestions for aoudad meat.
Aoudad meat pairs well with red wines like Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec. The tannins in the wine help to cut through the richness of the meat, while the fruit flavors complement the sweetness of the meat.
When it comes to vegetable pairings, aoudad meat goes well with hearty vegetables like roasted root vegetables, leafy greens, and grilled vegetables. These vegetables complement the earthy flavors of aoudad meat.
Herb and Spice Pairing
Aoudad meat can be paired with a range of herbs and spices, depending on what you prefer. Some popular herbs and spices for aoudad meat include rosemary, thyme, garlic, and cumin.
Common Varieties of Aoudad Meat
The most common types of aoudad meat are leg roasts, chops, and ground meat. The leg roasts can be cooked using various methods like grilling, roasting, or braising.
Aoudad chops are usually cooked using high heat methods like grilling or sautéing. The ground meat can be used in different recipes like burgers, meatloafs, and stews.
Storage and Preservation Tips for Aoudad Meat
Aoudad meat should be stored immediately after purchase in the refrigerator or freezer. Fresh aoudad meat is perishable and should be used within one to three days. If you plan to store aoudad meat for a longer period, freezing it is the best option.
Seal the aoudad meat in airtight containers or freezer bags, then store it in the freezer for up to six months. When defrosting aoudad meat, do it slowly and steadily in the refrigerator, so that it doesn’t lose its texture or flavor.
In conclusion, aoudad meat has a unique taste and flavor profile that makes it an excellent addition to any meat lover’s kitchen.
Aoudad meat is lean, tender, and less fatty compared to other wild game meat. The meat goes well with a range of pairings, from vegetables to wine.
The cooking methods for aoudad meat are varied and easy, making it suitable for different occasions. Remember to store and handle aoudad meat correctly to maintain its quality and freshness.
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.