Yes, you read that heading correctly! Today, we are going to head ‘down under’ and discuss kangaroo meat and the recipes you can use when cooking with it. If this makes you feel squeamish as a non-Aussie or non-Kiwi, think about the strange things we, South Africans, have on our dinner plates. And you only have to consider our favourite delicacy, biltong, to see where we are going with this one.
Chaps, the truth is biltong is uncooked, dried beef! Okay, so it has a few spices and little vinegar added to it, but in reality, it’s a steak that’s never seen the inside of a frying pan! Not that we are suggesting biltong isn’t the best thing since Ouma discovered blatjang (chutney), but it does prove that kangaroo meat isn’t the only strange meal around!
Kangaroo vs. South African meats
If you’re going to be persnickety, and suggest that certain species be off the menu, then you also have to remove ostrich, crocodile, kudu, springbok, giraffe, zebra, and warthog, to mention a few. The fact is, South Africa is a veritable buffet of exotic meats, so why shouldn’t kangaroo also be on the menu?
As a Saffa living on home soil, you may find obtaining kangaroo meat challenging as the roo is not indigenous to our neck of the woods. In addition, almost 70% of Australian kangaroo meat is exported to Europe (Germany/France), so there’s not much left for us!
However, South Africans who have recently emigrated to Europe, Australia, or New Zealand may be experiencing this delicacy for the first time and wondering how to cook it! Don’t wallabie; we got you covered! This blog has collated everything you need to know about kangaroo meat, how to cook it and what recipes to use.
Kangaroo meat health benefits
However, before we haul out the grill and spices, let’s take a quick look at the many health benefits you can enjoy when feasting on a succulent kangaroo steak.
Kangaroo meat is:
- Free range (Roos are never farmed), so the meat is free from antibiotics and hormones.
- High in protein, 150g steak equals 66% of an adult’s daily protein requirements.
- Low in fat, with less than 2% fat content making it a healthy meat choice.
- An excellent source of omega-3s, omega-6s (CLA), vitamin Bs, and iron.
Cooking kangaroo meat
Cooking with kangaroo meat takes practice. The most important thing to remember is that some cuts don’t require a lengthy cooking time. Ideally, steaks should be served medium rare to prevent them from drying out due to their low-fat content. In contrast, kangaroo tail, much like oxtail, requires a longer, slower cooking process.
Kangaroo mince recipes
Like beef mince, kangaroo mince can be used to make your favourite dishes such as cottage pie, lasagna, spaghetti bolognese, vetkoek fillings, and even bobotie! All you need to do is swap your beef mince for kangaroo and brown it thoroughly!
Kangaroo steak recipe
The trick with kangaroo steak is to keep your cooking time to a minimum to ensure the meat doesn’t dry out and become tough. In fact, cooking kangaroo steak is much the same as whipping up a tasty beef steak with fried onions and all the trimmings!
Kangaroo fillet recipe
Everyone enjoys a fillet sandwich, but what about trying a roo fillet sandwich? After seasoning the kangaroo fillets and a quick fry, there’s not much difference between whipping up a kanga sarnie or a beef sub!
Kangaroo burger recipe
As ground kangaroo recipes go, the kangaroo burger is possibly the easiest for newbie kangaroo connoisseurs. Simply create some decent-sized patties like you would if making a beef pattie, sprinkle with herbs and fry them!
Kangaroo recipe slow cooker
Slow cooker recipes are ideal for meat cuts that require a long and slow cooking process, for example, oxtail, lamb shank, and stewing cuts. This is because the slow cooker renders the tough meat tender and, most importantly, tasty! And the same is true for roo cuts such as kangaroo tail and kangaroo shanks. So haul out that slow cooker and dive into this delicious kangaroo tail recipe or follow your usual lamb shank recipe and swap the lamb for kangaroo!
Diced kangaroo recipe
Stew is a great anytime favourite, especially when the weather is cold, which happens regularly if you live abroad! While you would normally use beef, lamb, or chicken in your stew, diced kangaroo is equally wholesome and tasty!
Kangaroo beef jerky / dried kangaroo meat
Ooh, here’s something some Saffas might find difficult to swallow, kangaroo beef jerky! This is basically dried kangaroo meat, processed in the same way as beef biltong. But does it taste the same? Well, that’s something you’ll have to tell us when you finally pluck up the courage to taste it! However, it might be a ‘kind of’ substitute when suffering from severe biltong hunger pangs!
As South Africans, we are certainly not strangers to the weird, wonderful and wacky when it comes to cuisine with a twist! Many of our traditional dishes have those across the pond scratching their heads in disbelief. That said, getting used to those wallaby steaks may take a little extra time!
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