Sunday, January 17, 2010
I know we like to run down supermarkets, but for most of us they are the reality of everyday life. But isn't it great when you find something unexpected amongst the shelves?
My shame is that I've known about Coles selling kangaroo mince for a couple of years, but have never got around to cooking some, though that was always the intention, even buying some distinctly Australian spices at a Farmer's market some six months ago to add to the mix.
Pepper berries, or mountain pepper berries as they are more commonly known (Tasmannia lanceolata), have a slight juniper-like flavour and that strange schezuan pepper thing of growing hotter in the mouth the more you eat.
The native Australian oregano is difficult to say much about as there isn't much information on the packet, but due to its subtle lemon tang it wouldn't surprise if it turned out to be lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) given a little Aussie spin.
The thing about kangaroo meat in general is that all that hopping about makes for pretty lean meat, this mince was claimed to be 98% fat free, so it pays to think carefully about what flavours to put with it, along with some kind of fat or oil to keep things lubricated.
One could add some fatty minced pork, but to get the whole kangaroo experience, I used olive oil instead. Kangaroo isn't strongly gamey in the way boar or venison is, so a careful hand is needed in regards to spices and seasoning.
Sam Kekovich is banging on a bit about being Australian and throwing some lamb on the barbie this Australia Day, why not go a step further with a bit o' bush tucker?
(makes about 8 burgers)
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1kg kangaroo mince*
1 tablespoon mountain pepper, pounded in a mortar
1 tablespoon Australian oregano or lemon myrtle, finely chopped
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
salt and fresh ground pepper
Put the onion and garlic in a pan with some olive oil and sweat until soft. In a large bowl, put in the cooked onion and garlic, kangaroo mince, mountain pepper, Australian oregano, parsley, lemon zest, egg and breadcrumbs then season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper. Put in enough olive oil to stop things drying out, I used about 100ml. Mix well with your hands and form into hamburger patties. Cook to your liking, being careful not to overcook as they will dry out.
*available from Coles supermarkets in the fresh meat section