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Monday, October 23, 2006

Roo

Roo as it is found in the supermarket

Kangaroos occupy a strange place in the Australian psyche. Whilst the creature is their national symbol, thousands of them are culled each year and whilst there is thriving kangaroo leather industry that sells accessories to tourists, the majority of the meat goes into pet food. Aussies it seems are a little squeamish about eating skippy.

To try and and get people to change this ridiculous bit of anthropomorphic idiocy the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia ran a competition to rename the meat last year (and yes skippy did come up). Whilst the change was never intended to be actioned it was a good bit of PR which highlighted the fact that Australia is missing out.

Son, grab a beer & light the barbie

Kangaroo meat, as you can see from the picture at the top, is about the same colour as venison and is very similar in taste. However it is much more tender and much more easily cooked, it is also exceptionally lean there is almost no fat. The meat chars to an almost caramelised outer shell when cooked on a very high heat. In the picture below I've not done much more than sear it on each side on a griddle pan. It is best eaten as rare as you can take it and benefits from about 10 minutes resting time after cooking. It has a slightly gamey flavour that goes beautifully with mushrooms, garlic, thyme and other strong flavours. As befits its' nation of origin it barbeques beautifully!

Roo as it is found on my plate

Australia really needs to get over itself and take another look at Kangaroo. Oz has the world's second highest obesity problem per capita (after guess where). You would have thought that a low fat meat that barbeques better than any other that I've tried would be perfect.

4 comments:

  1. Christ on a pogo-stick, but 'roo looks scrummy...

    ...over here, they have no traditions of eating rodents. I take tremendous glee in answering the question of "what animal do you like?", oft-touted by elementary students with, "I like rabbits...they're delicious..."

    Young Japanese squeal in a wickedly satisfying fashion.

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  2. Well, if Australians won't eat it, perhaps they can be persuaded to export it to NL - that looks exactly like my kind of red meat (and looks like it would make a good casserole, too, with a few shallots, a bit of rosemary and a slug of red wine thrown into the pot). Damn, this is making me hungry - off to lunch.

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  3. Great post on roo meat, very relevant and appropriate. It was wonderful to see the picture of skippy, whose adventures I eagerly followed as a child in France.

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  4. Skippy was a child in France?! Oh, I see what you mean, sorry.

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