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i was in australia for a month 4 years ago and ate quite a lot of kangaroo. it was tasty, and i was told extremely low in cholesterol. how prevalent is kangaroo in australian cuisine? i remember vaguely being told that there are lots of restrictions on slaughter etc.

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I'm surprised that there have been no responses.

When I visited Australia some years ago, I had kangaroo a few times. Most interesting were roo pasties near Brisbane.

In general, I found it either at local hole-in-the-wall eateries or in tourist restaurants.

Bruce

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Upon seeing this thread, the first thing that came bubbling up from the depths of memory was this little song to the tune of the Grand March from Gounod's Faust:

My Uncle roasted a kangaroo,

Gave me the gristly end to chew.

Was that a very nice thing to do?

To give me the gristly end of a kangaroo to chew.

I guess what you're saying is that it isn't all that gristly?

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Never having been to Australia, I can't comment on its prevalence there or any restrictions. I do see it on menus in the US from time to time. It's available by special order from a local purveyor here in West Michigan but it's pretty expensive. I've had it only once in my life, as a tenderloin filet, at an Australian cooking class at a local college's culinary arts program. I liked it a lot. (We made crocodile, too.)

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I have a "new" sister-in-law from a place on the outskirts of Sydney. I was curious and asked her the same question. She said roo was for tourists, that they didn't eat them. I suspect she really meant that "SHE" didn't eat it. I have no first hand experience but it seems they're viewed as pests as they do lots of damage to crops. I would certainly try it. But I try EVERYTHING! (Raw whale flipper from the one you just harpooned?) Did it. It was surprisingly tasty. The closest I can come to describing the taste is a rich nut meat. Chew the flavor out (you can't actually chew it up), spit it overboard, whack off another chunk. Fine dining at its best! :rolleyes:

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kangaroo is pretty damn tasty. and from my experiences on my trip it didn't seem to be something for tourists only (we ate at some pretty fancy restaurants, courtesy my host)--though i doubt it is also a home staple. i do recall that there are tremendous restrictions on it: they can't be raised for slaughter, i think. i suppose it is possible that it only shows up in fancy-schmancy restaurants or in tourist traps (along with emu and crocodile: the indigenous animals degustation menu). are there no living, breathing australians on this forum who could enlighten us?

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Interestingly enough kangaroo meat is for sale in the meat section of my local supermarket (i.e. Safeway equivalent) in Sydney.


Edited by Fi Fi La More (log)

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Interestingly enough kangaroo meat is for sale in the meat section of my local supermarket (i.e. Safeway equivalent) in Sydney.

Do they ship overseas?

Welcome, BTW.

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We had kangaroo on the barbie in Alice Springs and in an upscale restaurant in Ayers Rock. Both times it was excellent.

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I was in Australia for 7 months, and never did try the kangaroo. None of my Australian friends ate it, though they encouraged me to try it if I wanted to, because they knew I probably wouldn't be able to get it once I was back home.

Anyway, the explanation most Aussies gave (especially the older folks) was that 'roo meat used to only be used in stuff like dog food, until maybe 15-20 years ago when the government started to allow it for human consumption. It was a sensible move. Kangaroos are indigenous, and don't require all of the resources that cows (or, insert name of other 'imported' animal here) do. It's a move that is taking a long time to settle into the heads of a lot of Aussies.

The Skippy factor: Jokes about eating 'Skippy schnitzels' (Skippy= beloved old TV kangaroo, on par with Flipper or Lassie here in the States, and schnitzel= extremely popular way of eating random 'meat' in Oz) abound. I think the Skippy idea holds a lot of people back, actually. :smile:

You'll find it as an option in nice restaurants, certainly in Sydney or Melbourne. That is where most tourists go. Finding it at the local chip shop is another matter. The most telling example of this was going from Adelaide (the city I lived in most of the time, not a popular spot for tourists) or Perth, and seeing it maybe once or twice on menus, to someplace like Cairns (tiny place just teeming with tourists. Has to be something like 70% tourists there) where I saw it on menus everywhere.

I'm sure the Skippy stigma will wear off eventually. :biggrin:

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Kangaroo meat has a gamey, rich flavour, and is very low in fat. It's quite good as a component in sausages, but you generally have to add pork (or some other kind of) fat. It would be most akin in the States to venison. How many Americans do you know who eat a venison fillet at home on a regular basis?

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I cooked kangaroo this week, actually. I live in Melb and just picked some steaks up at the local supermarket. marinated it overnight in sesame oil, soy sauce and lots of spices. Cooked it on the BBQ. It's delish! Just don't want to cook it a long time since it is very very lean and can dry out easily.

Lori

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I used to live in Aus, I'm going there for Xmas actually, and kangaroo is unquestionably great to eat.

10 or 15 years ago it was illegal to sell it for human consumption, only for pet food, so it has a bit of an image problem to overcome.

In South Australia it became quite fashionable, at the more innovative restaurants, as a great flavoured lean meat and to a very limited extent this approach moved interestate as regulatory issues allowed.

Unfortunately, along with produce like emu, crocodile and other 'aussie' foods, it tends to get lumped into the gimmicky, tourist area. In the case of emu and crocodile this is wholly reasonable - they are not interesting at all from a culinary perspective. Kangaroo, on the other hand, is a great game meat and could do with some image enhancement.

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I quite like a bit of 'roo on occasion. As mentioned above, it's pretty similar to venison - so often gets cooked in red wine, juniper berries etc. Seared /rare, it is delicious, with a soft texture. Overcooked, not so much. Wallaby on the other hand, I think tastes kinda like liver. Emu I quite like - at the local farmers markets, emu sausages are sometimes sold and are fast movers. The taste is rich, again a bit gamey, and nothing like a large chicken. I agree about crocodile - definitely one for the tourists. Camel on the other hand, is succulent and tasty. Unfortunately, not sold in the supermarkets - pretty limited to tourist destination restaurants, but like good beef.... Kangaroo is sold in our local supermarket, and quite often appears on barbies that we go to....

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Is kangaroo considered 'bush tucker'?

and, is 'bush tucker' just a word used for tourists (not for tourists as food, but for what tourists eat... :raz: )

edit: lame attempt at improving grammer


Edited by ludja (log)

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Is kangaroo considered 'bush tucker'?

and, is 'bush tucker' just a word used for tourists (not for tourists as food, but for what tourists eat... :raz: )

edit: lame attempt at improving grammer

Bush tucker is the generic name given to food that one shoots, picks, reaps, etc from nature.

Memories are flooding back of "The Bush Tucker Man" show on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission/Corporation) from ten-odd years ago. He was a member of the Australian army and did a television show where he travelled around the outback and just pointed out small, little things saying, "See this little fella, you can eat him!"

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I'm surprised that Roo isn't more prevalent than it actually is... I reckon that if you put a beautifully prepared steak down in front of my father, told him it was a nice cut of beef, he wouldn't bat an eye. To me, the only absolute when it comes to kangaroo is that it be cooked/served quite rare.

My suspicion w/r/t its lack of prevalence is simply to do with its cultural/iconic status... and the cute little furry personality. Lots of people find it a bit hard to swallow once they're told they've just stuck a fork in Skippy!

- kanga

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Had kangaroo for the first time recently on a trip to Oz, Katoomba to be precise. Very tasty, and I would happily eat it again as well as make it a regular part of my diet if I lived there. The place we went did it saltimbocca style with sage and prosciutto, nice and juicy and flavorful. I suppose it is somewhat gamey but lamb strikes me as gamier; kangaroo is more like steak from a cow but richer with almost nori-like overtones.

Didn't get a chance at the emu and croc, next time perhaps. :smile:

Pat, happily sated in the fish 'n' chips department too!

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Most of the people I know said they've tried it once when it was an option on the menu just so they could say they ate it but didn't regard it as anything special enough to integrate into their repetoire. I think part of the reason is that Kangaroo is rather demanding to cook as it's a lot leaner than beef, theres a fear that leaving it on the grill for a second too long would reduce a $20/kg piece of meat into something that tastes like bad beef.

An interesting variation I've seen on it is as an asian preperation, cut up into paper thin slices and then dipped into boiling water for maybe 20 seconds before dipped in some kind of sauce and eaten.

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We went to dinner last night to my favourite restaurant threechefs and one of our party had the kangaroo. Only got a taste but it was absolutely delicious and I would seriously consider having it next time (unless the menu changes). Their last menu had as an entree kangaroo sausages with pepperberry mash that my father swore by.

We get it in the supermarkets occasionally down here. One of my clients actually traps them for a living and keeps offering to get me some (bit more dubious there!!) :smile:

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I've heard that in some places, kangaroo gonads are considered a delicacy. Any truth to that?

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Not many places with high culinary centers, apart from Melbourne, heh heh, but if you're referring to indigenous peoples, yes, Aboriginals do eat the stuff. But it's no different to sheep's balls (waiting for the chevy chase jokes), or ox balls...

Just treat them like meatballs, but you gotta poach them first, maybe in veal or chicken stock then crumb and saute or simply saute and cook in a sauce.

I think done properly, roo meat, like with rosemary, salt, EVOO and grilled on HOT coals could be fun... crusty on the outside, blood rare on the inside. Once had it with chorizo. VV Good.

Also

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Interesting that you should think rosemary goes well with roo. I had kangaroo steak once, and it tasted like somewhere between lamb and beef, but more gamey. I guess if you treat it like very lean lamb, you can't go too wrong.

Is the kangaroo over-population still a problem in Oz? With so many kangaroos around, I find it puzzling that the meat isn't cheaper than $20/kg that someone else mentioned upthread. They use it in dogfood, don't they?

Now, who's had wallaby? How about wombat?

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Wombat would be fun to prepare and eat!

When I tried 'roo I really liked the flavor. I'd eat it again, anytime, but it is expensive here in the states.

Good question...if it is considered dogfood, why can't it be cheaper?

I do see it on alot of Modern Australian menus, though.

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I would say that the price is reflective of the breeding and farming process. Not much of what comes from suppliers are actually wild. Having said that, all of the roo dishes I've had, bar one at a restaurant, have come from wild roos, shot and skinned and hung by yours truly.

I couldn't discern a difference, but the ones you get yourself, like fishing, do have a psychological bias towards tasting better.

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