Slow Cooked Kangaroo with Fig & Rosemary
Kangaroo is an under utilised Australian meat. For years this Australian emblem has been etched into our minds as a cute and cuddly cultural symbol. Because of this, kangaroo has remained for the most part far from our dinner plates. Meat culture in Australia follows a westernised diet of beef, lamb, pork, poultry and fish. We think nothing of consuming these animals giving little thought or consideration to the environmental impact our diets leave in their wake.
The beef industry is a major contributor to the production of methane gas, however new modelling shows that when including the carbon sequestration and storage of grassland pastures, the methane production is reduced compared to grainfed beef. Regardless of the difficulty in estimating the negative impacts of agricultural practices on the environment, we can all agree that using wild caught, sustainable produce is best. Kangaroo, an alternative source of red meat, has an array of benefits on both our health and the environment. Depending on the cut of meat chosen, Kangaroo lends itself well to BBQ, stirfries, mince based dishes such as Bolognese and slow cooking such as the recipe featured below.
Features of Kangaroo Meat:
- Highest meat source of the essential fatty acid, alpha-linoleic acid (five times higher than lamb) the beneficial conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and also contains omega 3 fats EPA/DHA
- High in minerals iron and zinc and B vitamins
- All kangaroo meat harvested is wild, with the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia implementing tough guidelines around harvesting.
- Being a wild caught animal, it is free of antibiotics, growth hormones and other chemicals used in modern farming.
- Kangaroo over-population (now considered to be at pest levels) caused by European settlement causes land degradation.
What You Need
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 100g chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic, crushed & chopped
- 2 anchovies
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 1kg diced kangaroo meat
- 2 tablespoons of besan (chickpea) flour
- 375mL red wine
- 500mL beef stock
- 8-10 dried figs (stalks removed)
- 2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
What To Do
Preheat oven to 150°C or switch on slow cooker is using
Pour 4 tablespoons of oil into large frying pan.
Fry the onions, celery, rosemary and anchovies.
Once the onions are browned and beginning to caramelize, add the garlic and figs cooking for 2-3 minutes.
Add the wine and transfer mix to a large ovenproof baking dish or slow cooker pot.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in frying pan.
Lightly dust the kangaroo with besan flour and brown in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes
Transfer the kangaroo to the baking dish/slow cooker pot.
Heat the beef stock in the frying pan and once the stock is brought to the boil, pour over meat in the baking dish/slow cooker pot.
Cover tightly with foil and bake for 3-4 hours or in slow cooker on low for 6-7 hours.
Transfer kangaroo to plate and allow to rest.
While the meat is resting, pour the cooking liquid into a frying pan.
Add the balsamic vinegar and reduce until liquid becomes a thick sauce – add salt and pepper to taste.
Drizzle the sauce over the meat and serve with steamed or wok tossed vegetables on the side and your choice of cauliflower mash or rice/quinoa/polenta.
Recipe adapted from the Warm; Kunara Cookbook (2015)