Sometimes it feels as if life passes too quickly for the stillness of reflection. The result being it all feels a bit of a blur. Of course, failing to regularly document it – despite keeping various journals and blogs – doesn’t help either! You work and work and try to keep your head above the waterline and sometimes there’s just not enough time for it all. I guess I’m trying to explain my lack of presence here of late. Last weekend I made a whistle-stop visit to Melbourne to see my Mum in hospital. She’s fine, and will no doubt be back home despairing at the state of the garden before the week is out. It was great to be able to fly down and see her at the drop of a hat. And also make some overdue, albeit brief visits to a few friends. I should do it more often.
Anyway, I have a few recipes in the holding pen. I’ve been wanting (though slightly hesitant) to share this one. Despite the mostly vegetarian recipes I choose to share here, I am sometimes very carnivorous. I’ve been eating roo – as in, *block your ears kids* kangaroo – for years now. I know it doesn’t sit well with some people. But for me, on environmental and nutritional grounds, it’s the red meat I prefer to buy and cook for myself. You can read up on the facts via a quick Google search. Here’s a quick rundown of the benefits of eating pasture-raised animals, and although it’s got an American slant, it hits the key points which I think also apply to wild-harvested roo. If you’re curious, or sold already, this is one of my favourite things to eat when carb/carnivorous cravings grab hold. It’s lean, an excellent source of protein – and full of omega-3s, iron, zinc and B vitamins – simple (requiring only pantry staples), quick to prepare and damn tasty.
Some notes. I mix up the herbs: basil/parsley/oregano in summer (and sometimes even a bit of lemon zest for a lift), thyme and a splash of red wine when it’s cooler. The recipe below is the simple summer version, with basil, as I am happily keeping alive a basil plant for the first time ever (thanks L!). Oh, and for the garlic, there seems to be quite a bit of Aussie-grown stuff around at the moment. Give the local stuff a go.
Kangaroo is widely available in Australia these days. It’s often stocked by organic, gourmet or good butchers, and you should be able to find it at your local mega-chain supermarket. I like fillets which are usually more tender than steaks and avoid pre-marinated meat for this dish. For an extra lift, add lemon zest when serving. The only thing you need to serve with this is a good block of hard cheese like peccorino or parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.
600 grams kangaroo fillets, sliced into thin strips
1 x 400 gram can whole tomatoes
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 brown onion, diced
big handful of basil, torn or roughly chopped
splash of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
splash of olive oil
sea-salt and pepper
pasta of your choice
Prepare pasta according to packet directions.
When the pasta is on, warm a splash of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the meat and cook briefly, about 2 minutes or until browned and sealed. Remove from pan and cover to keep warm. Return pan to heat, add a bit more oil if needed, and gently fry off the onion and garlic for a few minutes or until soft. Return meat to pan and add tomatoes, breaking the larger ones up with the back of a wooden spoon against the pan. Add a small 1/4 cup water and splash of red wine vinegar and simmer for a few minutes. You don’t want to overcook this or the roo will be tough. Add sea-salt and pepper to taste and stir through basil.
Serve with pasta and a good chunk of peccorino/parmesan.