Sunday 6 May 2012

First, catch your kangaroo

Many thanks to all of you who voted in 365things first ever poll. The resounding winner of what I should cook this week was something Australian. I did a quick google search for Australian food. It’s pretty much food from all over the world, recognising the multicultural nature of the country. So, I turned to Hubs and in exasperation asked “what’s Australian?” “Kangaroo!” he said with a smile. Right. Thanks hun...

So where do you get kangaroo in Belgium? Someone told me you can get it in the GB at Pl Jourdan. That is completely off my route, so I tried the Carrefour in Waterloo (Mt St Jean).  I asked with the friendly butcher behind the counter if they had any, which resulted in the typical type of conversation I frequently have with salespeople in this country:
Me: est ce que vous avez du kangourou?
Butcher: huh?
Me: est ce que vous avez du kangourou?
Butcher: du quoi?
Me: c’est un grand animal qui vient d'Australie, et qui saute (hand gestures to indicate jumping).
Butcher: de l’autruche?
Me: kan-gou-rou !!!
Butcher: ah, kangourou! Oui, bien sur!

So, kangaroo ‘caught’. To save you the embarrassment of repeating this conversation in your local supermarket, here’s a photo of what pre-packaged kangaroo looks like. In the local store, it's kept in the fridge with poultry. Incidentally, there was also some ostrich there too. 

Kangaroo, as for sale in your  local Carrefour. Possibly. 

Fun fact: in researching kangaroo I found out that Australians don’t eat a lot of kangaroo. In fact, Belgians eat more than the Aussies do.

But back to the kitchen… Roo is very low in fat, so according to all the reading I did, you only need to cook it for a very short time, and it’s best eaten medium rare. I thought I’d cook it like a steak – pan fried for a short time. I did about 8-9 minutes in total on a hot pan. Everything I read said that you should let the meat rest well after cooking.

I made a sauce in the pan while the meat was resting, with a little red wine (about a glass) and a teaspoon each of onion jam and fig jam. I also boiled a few potatoes and served some mange tout on the side.

Verdit? I thought it was quite good. I certainly would eat it again, and would buy it if it were on offer in the local shop – I think I paid about €4 for around 200g. Its tasty and low in fat. It has a strong taste however, kind of like venison and with an iron tang. Hubs thought it was good, if a little too strong tasting for him.

As I am cooking today to celebrate Australian Anzac day, I cannot fail to mention Anzac cookies. I found loads of recipes for these, and they are very similar to the chewy cranberry oatmeal cookies I regularly make. As I’ve already blogged about them and make them regularly, I decided not to make them again this week. If you fancy some yummy treats (and you could argue that they are good for you will all those uber-healthy oats in them!), you can find my recipe here.

I’ve written three posts on grocery shopping in Belgium (on-line and in real shops) and what to do with some of the goodies you can find here that you cannot find in supermarkets at home (boar and venison).

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