I have been wanting to make roo tail stew for ages. I love kangaroo meat, and I love ox tails, so I always figured roo tail stew would be delicious. Ecologically speaking, kangaroo meat is one of the most sustainable meats to consume in Australia. When I lived in the country, I just expected to be able to get some roo tails from mates who went roo shooting, but I always lucked out. They are often given away to treat the dogs. Since moving to Canberra I don’t have friends that go roo shooting anymore. So I’ve been stuck. Imagine my excitement when I was at the Eco-Meats butcher in Belconnen Fresh Food Markets and discovered a bag of frozen wallaby tail pieces. I thought I’d cook them slowly in a beef stock, but once I browned them I could see they were going to be so rich in flavour they wouldn’t need it, and the beef would be overpowering. In the end the method was simple and ingredients few. I decided to stick with native flavours and browned the tails in macadamia oil, then simmered them gently in water with some saltbush flakes. Macadamia oil is very good for you, has a nice flavour and a high smoking temperature, so it’s fine to use at a high heat. I think of saltbush as both a herb and seasoning. I love using bush tomatoes. They have a slightly bitter flavour, reminiscent of sultanas and sundried tomatoes. I thought they’d make a great addition to the gravy. After letting the tails cool in the cooking liquid, I removed the meat from the liquid and reduced the gravy right down with a little ground bush tomato.
|800||grams||Wallaby tail pieces|
|2||teaspoons||Bush tomato (kutjera), ground|
|to taste||Pepperberries, ground|
Heat the oil in a frying pan that has a lid and cook the pieces of wallaby tail in batches till well browned. Add a little more oil to the pan as required. When all the meat is browned, drain away the oil and return all the pieces of meat to the pan with the saltbush and cover with water. Place the lid on the frying pan and gently simmer for 4-5 hours, or until tender and the meat comes away from the bone.
Turn off the heat and allow the meat to cool in the cooking liquid. When cool, remove the meat from the liquid and pull the meat from the bones. Set aside the meat and discard the bones.
Add the bush tomato to the cooking liquid and return the pan to the heat, simmering the liquid till thickened. It should make a rich gravy. Add the gravy to the wallaby meat and season to taste with ground pepperberries.
You can use this to fill meat pies or scoop into serving dishes and cover with a potato topping for a great potato pie. I served mine in individual ramekins with a topping of cheese and herb dumpling. It was sensational.
Cheese and herb dumpling
|1||tablespoon||fresh chopped herbs (parsley, chives, oregano, thyme)|
|2||tablespoons||cheddar cheese, grated|
Rub the butter into the flour to make a fine crumb. Add the cheese, herbs and pepper and mix to combine. Add the milk a little at a time, bringing the mixture together with a fork, till the mixture becomes a wet soft dough.
Scoop your casserole into individual ramekins and dollop the dumpling dough atop the casserole. Bake in a preheated oven at 180oC for 15 minutes or till golden. Enjoy