Wednesday, February 25, 2009


No, not a typo, just one of the many ways of cooking kangaroo. For some reason it's more fun when the dishes have roo names like Vindaroo, Rooritos, Roogan Josh, Kanga Bangas, etc. We don't really eat much meat other than kangaroo because it's better for the environment (kangaroos have paws rather than hooves, so they tend not to degrade the land as much, their feed doesn't need watering, and they produce less methane than cows) and it's cheap and healthy. I thoroughly enjoy serving Roo Bolognaise to guests and trying to change their minds about the idea of eating kangaroo, it's particularly funny to ask friends visiting from overseas whether they would mind if I served them the national emblem for dinner.

Last night we tried a version of the Beef and Guiness Casserole with Dumplings recipe that appears in my favourite cookbook, 'Everyday Cooking' by Michele Curtis and Allan Campion. Turned out brilliantly. Roo can be chewy if you cook it wrong, but with slow cooking like this it was great, plus the meat has a rich flavour, which worked well with the heartiness of the recipe.

Dice roo steaks. We used about 800 grams, which was two packets.
Coat in seasoned flour (flour mixed with salt and pepper)
Cook in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat with a touch of oil until golden brown.
Add a 400ml can of Guiness, a chopped onion and a couple of chopped garlic cloves, and 2 cups of beef stock. (Or vegie if you'd prefer - they don't make roo stock in cubes yet!)
Bring to the boil, then simmer for an hour.
At this point add dumplings, then simmer for another hour.

To make the dumplings, combine a cup of bread crumbs and a cup of self-raising flour.
Rub 75 grams of diced soft butter through.
Add salt, pepper, and some herbs. The recipe calls for a tablespoon of chopped parsley, but we used oregano because it's in the garden.
Add an egg and enough milk to bind the mixture.
Knead to form a dough, then roll into 3 cm balls.

I think this would also make a great pie filling (without the dumplings). It was such a perfectly cosy dish for the first cool evening in a long time!

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