With future literary fame in mind, it was hard to decide what to cook. She requested kangaroo so I decided to go for a dressed up version of Aussie pub steak, mash and gravy: using kangaroo instead of beef, adding some mustard to the mash and turning the gravy into a quandong glaze.
I had never cooked kangaroo before (yes, yes I know you shouldn't cook an untested recipe on the big night, but I had one day notice and no time to prepare) so as you can imagine I was a tad nervous. And even more so after a tripod was installed in my kitchen for some serious action photography!
I once saw kangaroo served with sour cherry sauce and I thought it was a good idea to pair game meat with fruit. Keeping to the Australian theme I decided to use a local fruit and thought the quandong (a native Australian peach) would do nicely. Having never eaten it before I was taking a big gamble that the flavours would match (yes, yes, I'm breaking all the dinner hosting rules).
I based my quandong glaze on Cumberland Sauce principles, got my kangaroo cooking advice from the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia and found the perfect garnish of crispy enoki bundles on chef Benjamin Christie's website (where I also discovered he too had paired kangaroo and quandong – phew, I'm not alone on this one!).
And the final result? Well I was as proud as punch! It looked great, it tasted great. It was a success!
I can't promise fame won't change me.
Kangaroo Rump w Quandong Glaze, Potato Mash & Enoki Bundles
Enoki bundle idea care of Benjamin Christie. Serves 2
400g kangaroo rump, cut into two portions
350ml beef stock
350ml red wine
1½ tablespoons quandong jam
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 potatoes, peeled and just boiled
2 tablespoons cream
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
¼ punnet enoki mushrooms
40g corn flour
Vegetable oil for deep frying
1. Soak the kangaroo in oil for 15 minutes prior to cooking.
2. Start preparing the glaze by sautéing the garlic until soft. Add half the red wine and a little beef stock then reduce. Add the remaining red wine, beef stock and quandong jam and reduce again, seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
3. Mash the potatoes. Add cream/milk and mustard then mash until a puree is formed. Keep warm.
4. Heat vegetable oil in a pot. Break the enoki mushrooms into smaller bundles, dust in corn flour. Test that the oil is hot enough by dropping in a piece of broken mushroom (it should start foaming and fizzling immediately). Deep fry till golden, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
5. Place kangaroo in a very hot pan and quickly turned over to ensure all sides are seared. Turn down the temperature and cook to medium rare (2-3 minutes per side). Remove from heat and rest.
6. Once the meat is rested, cut into thin slices and arrange on plate on top of a small amount of potato mash. Drizzle quandong glaze around the plate and top kangaroo with enoki bundles.
Enjoyed with Fox Creek’s 2003 Shadow’s Run (Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon blend) – delicious!