Awestraya

Cajun Kangaroo Tail Stew

Its one thing to just travel around the country, but we want to experience the tastes and flavours of our country as well. The question is often asked, what constitutes an “Australian” dish? I am yet to hear a great answer bar possibly the ambiguous meat pie and tomato sauce. But that said, I am thinking Kangaroo Tail may come close.

Kangaroo meat has been eaten by aboriginals for thousands of years and is famous for being nutritionally high in protein, Iron, Zinc, Omega 3 fatty acids and the leanest red meat available.

Kangaroo steaks and mince often makes an appearance in the car fridge as a healthy and cheap meat option. But up till this point in our travels, it’s been a rare sight to find it available as a straight up frozen body part.

Visiting Alice Springs, we noticed all of the supermarkets and local butchers stock kangaroo tails. I am assuming this is thanks to the large indigenous population living in town and the surrounding areas.

Given it is summer and its been over 40 degrees every day in Alice Springs, lighting a fire to cook the tails in the coals, in the traditional style of the aboriginal, was out of the question. So what better opportunity to play the “modern Australian ‘fusion’ cuisine” card and cook these roo tails up with a multicultural twist.

Ingredients

Serves 1 – 2 ( add more roo tails and ingredients for more people )

  • 1 x Kangaroo Tail
  • 500ml Beef stock
  • 2 x brown onions
  • 500ml Vegetable stock
  • 1 tin of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 satchel of tomato paste
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 cup of good Red wine ( we used a Shiraz from the Clare Valley )
  • 2 cups of Borlotti beans
  • A few large carrots
  • 2 x Capsicums
  • 2 x Bok Choy
  • Cup of mushrooms
  • Head of brocolli
  • Cajun Spice
  • Chilli Powder
  • Curry Powder
  • 2 x fresh limes
  • A few bay leaves and kaffir lime leaves

Preparation

Cover the Borlotti beans with water and soak overnight.

Hopefully you brought a kangaroo tail that has been pre-skinned. I am yet to see one for sale ready to go, so that leaves the business of skinning!

Base of a roo tail with the skin on, ready for some elbow grease…

I wasn’t so much put off by the process of skinning the tail, but after completing the process without a sharp skinning knife, I was starting to understand why aboriginals traditionally just singe the fur over an open fire, bury the tail with skin on in the coals to roast. Making it easier to pick the meat away from the skin after the tail is cooked.

Dog licking lips at the thought of fresh Kangaroo tails.
Did someone mention kangaroo tail?

But failing that, if the tail you brought still has the skin on, prepare your self for some fun. A small sharp knife is best for the job. I made two parallel incisions running the length of the tail. Start to cut the skin away from the surface of the meat for a few centimetres near the base, just enough so that you can grab firmly the skin and pull backwards, to bring the skin off the rest of the tail.

Freshly skinned tail segment, don’t let the tendons scare you they will magically vanish when cooked.

Chop your two onions coarsely. Skin and chop garlic into large chunks. Oil your pot or camp oven, then put on a medium heat / low fire.

Brown your kangaroo tail, diced onion and garlic. Add beans, bay and kaffir lime leaves, spices, can of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, vegetable and beef stock – ensure it covers the meat; if not, add water.

Stew for a few hours over a low heat (roughly 2-3 hours). Once the meat starts to fall off the bone, remove the tail from the pot to scrape meat from the bone.

Add the meat from the tail back into the pot. Add juice from 2 limes and fresh vegetables. Cook for a further 10 minutes before serving.


Bowl of cajun Kangaroo tail stew.
Finished “modern Australian ‘fusion’ cuisine”. A fusion of the deep American south meets deadly traditional Australian bush tucker.