Not even 60 percent of the Australian population have tried kangaroo meat. For the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it was a main source of protein for centuries. Yet, the kangaroo export industry is worth almost $50 million..... or so they say, with Russia and China being Australia's biggest native game customers. Most of it leaves this country.
There are of course many arguments for and against the wild harvesting of kangaroo. Some say it is unhygienic, despite tightly managed harvesting and processing codes of practice which must be adhered to by licensed handlers. And then of course there is the need to limit, as with all red meat, the amount of Roo that we eat to avoid cardiovascular disease. However, kangaroo meat, when compared to beef and lamb, is a very lean low-fat protein.
The question of animal welfare is most certainly one to ponder. In particular, clean humane kills and how pouch young are disposed of when the mother is killed.
In the RiverMint Dining kitchen we buy kangaroo meat from companies who only shoot male red kangaroos. Tightly controlled harvesting by these companies with regards to the kangaroo population ensures sustainability within Australia. We are also aware that the kangaroo is of cultural significance to the Nyoongar people, and is in fact the spirit totem of many individuals -in the case of totems, kangaroo meat must not be eaten.
But let's talk about the meat itself. It has a strong gamey texture and if not overcooked, keep it to medium rare if you can, is tender and lean. It is extremely high in Omega-6, zinc and iron. Not to mention low in fat.
Take some time to learn more about our native game meats and their nutritional value, flavours and textures. Kangaroo bangers, burgers, dice and fillets are all available in regular supermarkets for the whole family to try. We will post a few different recipes in the coming months using different kangaroo cuts.
The perfect way to cook a kangaroo fillet you ask? We like to rub the fillet with Tasmanian pepper berry, saltbush and dried native thyme, marinate in oil and roast it on the BBQ grill, 8-10mins, turning regularly. Try the "Chin test' to check its doneness. The flesh of the fillet when pressed will have the same give as different sections of your face when pressed with your index finger.
Forehead: Well Done
Don't forget to let it rest before carving!