Kangaroo is probably one of my favourite meats to cook with and the ONLY meat I ever purchase from the supermarket. There has been lots of press about the pros and cons of eating skippy so I thought I would give you a quick summary of why I like to keep it as a regular in our house.
Nutritionally kangaroo is fantastic like any other red meat, very high in protein, iron and zinc. People also love preaching the lean qualities of kangaroo. I am not concerned with eating meats with a higher fat content – eating the whole animal as many benefits and the right amounts of fat in your diet are important for health. But if the fat content of meat concerns you, then kangaroo is a fantastic choice. The only downside with this leanness is that it is definitely not a cut of meat that you eat well done as it will be dry and tough as old boats. Unless you cook with the mince which is a lot more forgiving.
The big question is where does this roo meat come from. Are there kangaroo farms? No – all meat is harvested from wild animals. There are very strict protocols that come with this practice. To shoot kangaroos, an individual must be a licensed kangaroo harvester, having been educated in the relevant rules and regulations, animal welfare, hygiene controls, and firearm competency. In order for the animals to be processed each kangaroo must be supplied with tags, which can only be obtained if you are a licensed shooter. The expectation on the shooters is that all animals are to be killed with a single bullet to the brain and each licensee is regularly assessed on this criteria. Furthermore, there are controls on the number of kangaroos that can be harvested and this is accessed annually and according to area. Out of a population of over 20 million, approximately, 10-15% of kangaroos are killed for meat each year. All sounds a bit gruesome I know. But this is the reality of how our meat gets to our plates and this is a much pleasant process than some of the horrific factory farming practices out there.
All of this means that any kangaroo meat you buy is 100% free range, which is fairly unique! I don’t think there is any other meat you can buy in Australia like that. In addition to this, controlling the kangaroo population like is only beneficial for the environment. Kangaroo levels in harvesting areas are at pest levels and they are destroying not only farming land but also causing havoc in natural bushland. It really is a smart management system.
The big question is now… how and when to cook with kangaroo? I normally cook with the steaks or fillets in place of normal beef or lamb steaks and I also love the mince especially with the price tag of $8 per kg. The flavour is somewhat stronger than beef, more gamey so I prefer it eaten when it has been marinaded or with some sort of condiment.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Use the mince in your next spag bol sauce or in burgers
- The meat really works well with spice rubs, in particular moroccany ones like Ras El Hanout
- Gerwuzhaus make a kangaroo spice mix
- Like any red meat, it goes beautifully with red wine this recipe looks delish and would be perfect for a dinner party or give these skewers a crack at your next bbq
- And if you are feeling brave – Roo Carpaccio
Have you got any tips or recipes about eating and cooking with roo? Let me know!