If you are new to kangaroo meat, this is not a bad recipe to start out with. The preserved lemon is the interesting flavour in it, and kangaroo is a great meat for a tagine because it is so lean and dense.
And I also believe kangaroo is the most ethical choice for Australians. Kangaroos are truly free-range, sustainably harvested from the wild, and our gun laws and our lack of a “hunting for fun” culture both help to keep kangaroo shooting a respectful predator-prey relationship.
I’m calling this a tagine, even though it is cooked more like a stew in a pot or pressure cooker on the stove top. It gets its tagine-iness from the richness created by holding in the moisture, and the Moroccan flavours. And I love “kangaroo” and “tagine” in the same sentence – the idea of adding it to the melting pot of multiculturalism that gives us the fantastic modern cuisines. It’s a permaculture idea, to value diversity and to see the “edge” where two cultures/ideas/ecosystems meet as the richest part.
This recipe is fast and easy to prepare, but it does need time to marinate, and time to cook.
Start in the morning, or the night before.
Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, blend together:
- 4 cloves of garlic,
- 2 thumbs of ginger,
- 2 teaspoons of cumin,
- 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley,
- 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander,
- with enough olive oil to make a runny paste.
Pour it over 3 or 4 chopped onions (depending on size) and 750 grams of diced kangaroo meat in a bowl, cover, and put it in the fridge to marinate overnight or for the day.
At the same time, put 1 cup of white beans in water to soak overnight or for the day.
An hour or more before dinner time:
In a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid, or a pressure cooker, sear the kangaroo. You will need to do this in batches – probably three – so it browns. Rinse the marinate bowl with water and add it to the pot. How much water depends a bit on how tight a lid your pot has – between 2 and 3 cups, depending on how much steam will escape. You can top it up during cooking if in doubt. Drain the white beans and add them. Put the lid on and simmer for an hour or pressure cook for half an hour. Avoid stirring too much – you don’t want bean puree.
Rinse two quarters of preserved lemon, scrape off and discard the flesh and julienne the rind very fine. Add to the pot and simmer another 15 minutes. Watch the moisture level – leave the lid off if it is too runny and needs reducing, or add water if it is getting too thick even with the lid on.
At the very end, stir in 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint.
The recipe serves four (generously) for a dinner party, served with yoghurt and mint, couscous, and a pumpkin and green beans side dish.