You may have figured by now, I love to use native foods in my cooking. I think it has environmental benefits, supporting maintenance of native flora and fauna; maintains knowledge of the land, and shows respect to the indigenous knowledge of the first Australians. This dish is something I came up with ages ago, but it’s taken me a while to actually pull it off. It’s very simple.
I’ve found that crocodile tastes like whatever it’s been eating. Crocodiles can go days without eating, so it’s not surprising their body’s purge of flavour. Most farmed crocodiles are fed chicken, so the meat often tastes like chicken. But I’ve eaten crocodile that tastes like pork, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some buffalo tasting crocs up north too. Crocodile is a very lean white meat, and should be treated more like fish, but the meat is dense like game. I coated my fillets in a little coconut flour which I thought worked exceptionally well, but you can use plain flour if you like.
I thought a simple sweet and sour quandong sauce would pair beautifully with the meat. Quandongs are sometimes known as native peaches. I recommend checking out the Something Wild online store, they have some great produce available. I bought my crocodile there too. There’s really not much to this sauce, it should be thick and chunky. It was kind of inspired by Thai style food popular up north, with a balance of sweet, sour and spicy. The spice comes from the southern bush food, pepperberries.
I recommend serving this dish with wild rice.
Sweet and sour Quandong sauce
|1||cup||dried Quandong halves|
|1||tablespoon||white wine vinegar|
To make the sauce, soak the quandongs in two cups of boiling water. Set aside to soften. Reserve a few rehydrated quandong halves for garnish. Roughly chop the quandongs. You want some in little pieces, and some big. Return the fruit to the pan with the remaining ingredients and simmer till the fruit starts to break down. You may need to add more water. You want the final sauce to be quite thick and chutney like. You want to be able to scoop it onto forkfuls of crocodile.
Season the crocodile with salt, and dust with flour. Leave the flour to stick and the meat to room temperature. Make a frying pan hot. Add the oil to the pan and cook the crocodile for a few minutes on each side. You want a nice golden colour on the meat, it needs to be only just cooked. Cooking times will vary. Rest the meat in a warm place for at least five minutes.
Slice the crocodile across the grain. Serve with warm quandong sauce.