Mountain “Roo” Steak
This is kangaroo, sustainable and lean, marinated with Shiraz and native mountain pepper.
As a first foray into research and recipe development about Australian inspired cuisine, I am using mainly a mix of terroir and bush food ingredients, which includes the iconic “roo” (nickname for kangaroo). Yes, this could sound a little adventurous or awful thinking about a cute Skippy... I know many locals have never desired to cook and/or taste it. Kangaroo is a wild red meat, like venison (deer) and other Canadian game animals, sounding maybe a little too chewy for some, but is in fact tender and very tasty if cooked properly. For non-indigenous Aussie meat lovers, grazing farm animals (especially lamb) are the favourite source of protein. Indigenous people have hunted and cooked kangaroo for tens of thousands of years, using various methods like the traditional open fire. Kangaroo meat is so far considered as a choice that is both sustainable and better for the environment. It has only been legally sold in supermarkets for human consumption since the end of the 20th century, when bushfood began to be recognised by non-Indigenous Australians. Harvested from their wild natural habitat (with a strict code of practice), kangaroos are never farmed and they are free from human intervention. The meat is also a high-quality healthy choice with many nutritional values and much less fat. Roo steak has a softer texture if cooked medium rare but marinated in wine, it will tenderize the outside of the flesh and add moisture and flavour. Shiraz, a red wine variety cultivated in Oz and renamed from the identical grape of French Syrah, is a perfect pairing for red meat. Flavoured with the fruity hot flavour of the native mountain pepper, a native superfood substituting black pepper, this dish is an introduction and tribute to some earthy nutrients of this land.
Note: This recipe and photography was developed before the impact of the drought and 2020 bushfires on wildlife. Harvest has been suspended in some regions until the population stabilizes.
Stay tuned for all recipes in my upcoming book!