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Kangaroo Yahni

One of the best things about Australian cuisine (besides its base in fresh produce)  is its multiculturalism.  We are recipe bower birds, picking up anything that is bright and shiny from other places and taking it home!

One of the worst things about Australian cuisine is the ignorant way we have dismissed the heritage of knowledge about local food by indigenous Australians, that a wise culture would have treasured.

Which brings me to kangaroo as a case in point.  Kangaroo meat is good!  It is lean, healthy, high in iron and zinc. It is cheap, partly because of supply and demand, but also because kangaroos are adapted to our climate, soils, native grasses, and seasons. It is ethical – kangaroos live a good free range life in the wild and are harvested by professional shooters who don’t make a living unless they are very competent.  It is environmentally responsible – kangaroos have soft feet that don’t destroy our very fragile soils and a breeding cycle adapted to the drought and flood climate of much of Australia. And perhaps most important of all, kangaroos don’t fart greenhouse gases.

And it is delicious! Gradually I am experimenting with all my old recipes, finding those that work best with kangaroo.  This one is a  kangaroo and bean stew, based on Turkish spice profile.  As we near the end of winter, I am making the most of having the slow combustion stove going to cook slow cookers like beans.

The Recipe:

Brown 500 grams of diced kangaroo meat in olive oil in a pot or pressure cooker. You are aiming to sear, not stew it, so you will need to have the pot quite hot and do it in two or three batches.

Remove the meat from the  pot, add some more olive oil (kangaroo is very lean and won’t render fat the way beef or lamb will), and add:

  • One large onion diced
  • Four or five cloves of garlic, diced
  • A good tablespoon of grated fresh ginger
  • Two teaspoons of garam masala
  • One teaspoon each of ground coriander, ground cummin, and ground cardamom

Saute till the onion is soft and the spices are cooked a little.

Add about 500 grams of peeled tomatoes and a little water.

Simmer for about 30 minutes or pressure cook for 10 until the meat is tender.

Add 300 grams of cooked beans.  I used the dried seeds from my Blue Lake beans saved from summer for this recipe, but canellini or haricot beans work well.

Add a tablespoon of lemon juice and two tablespoons of plain yoghurt.

Taste and add salt and pepper.

It’s good served with couscous and a green salad with lots of fresh mint in it.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • dixiebelle August 26, 2010, 3:13 pm

    Sounds good. I am not a huge fan of gamey meat, though I do like the spicy Kanga Banga sausages they make. But my husband is very keen on kangaroo. Maybe if I made this with some fresh chilli and loads of garlic (4 or 5 cloves, that’s my kind of recipe!) I would be OK… or I could just make it with Kanga Banga sausages instead!

  • Linda August 26, 2010, 3:24 pm

    The kangaroo I get at my local IGA, same brand as the Kanga Bangas, seems to be much less gamey these days, and you may well find this recipe has enough spices to distract you from any gaminess anyway. I like garlic and will always stick another clove or two into any recipe 🙂 And far be it from me to discourage anyone from using chili (chili chocolate is my favourite).

  • Anna Johnston August 27, 2010, 2:08 pm

    Garam Marsala would work well with kangaroo now I come to think about it! Nice one 🙂

  • Sarah September 16, 2010, 10:52 am

    Wow, this sounds seriously excellent. I am a bit in love with my slow cooker at the moment – I made lamb shanks last night, and left them to cook while I was asleep. The only problem was, in my tiny studio, I could smell them while I was asleep and dreamt all night about eating lamb shanks for breakfast!

    I think I’ll make this next week to serve with a carrot, currant and mint quinoa. Thanks!

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