Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fried Ground Watusi

Watusi is a breed of Sanga cattle native to east Africa, also called ankole or ankole-watusi. They are medium sized cattle, from 900 to 1,200 pounds for females and 1,000 to 1,600 pounds for males, and have gigantic horns. By contrast, the bison weighs from 900 to 2,000 pounds. 
Watusi - picture taken from here
They are often associated with the Tutsi tribe of Rwanda where they are known as "the cows with long, long horns." The king owned the largest watusi and they are also sometimes referred to as the "cattle of kings." They live on grasslands and are able to survive on limited quantities of poor grass and little water. In 1983 the Ankole Watusi International Registry was started in Denver, Colorado. The watusi breed should have a straight topline, a sloping rump and a neck hump, although the neck hump is not required. Their horns are long and symmetrical, with a large base. Lyre and circular shaped horns are preferable to flat horns. Watusi live wild on large game parks in Texas and can be hunted there. A friend of mine recently got some ground watusi meat from a friend of his who shot a watusi in Texas. 
I had him up to the house and we cooked it. It came in quite large and fatty chunks, much larger than typical ground beef. 
We put a little canola oil in a frying pan to get it started and then fried the watusi in it until it just turned brown. We drained quite a bit of fat from it. In addition to the oil, all we added was a little salt. I liked the large chunks and it had a very nice flavor, not gamy at all. It was not particularly distinctive from regular beef. 


  1. I thought it was much richer than regular beef, at least than ground beef. It was more like ground steak--lots of depth of flavor.

  2. How do those poor cows hold their heads up with those oversized horns?