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Kangaroo - MACROPUS GIGANTEUS

 

People usually think of Austrialia when kangaroo is mentioned because this is the only continent where kangaroos exist. There are almost 50 different kinds of kangaroos, but the hunt of only 4 kinds is permitted. Each year the Australian government determines the exact number of kangaroos which can be hunted. Hunting of kangaroos is necessary because they have become a serious threat for the Australian traffic. They are also responsible for the shaping of more desertland due to overgrazing of larger parts of Australia. The most common kinds are the Euro-, Grey-, Walibies and Red-Kangaroos. Kangaroos are noctual animals. During the day they often lay underneath eucalypthus trees.

 

Habitat

Kangaroos live all over Australia with the exception of some very wet areas. Every kind of kangaroo has its own distribution area. Kangaroos are grass and leaf eaters. Since Australia is quite a dry country, kangaroos are a burden for local farmers as their cattle and the kangaroos eat the same food. The Euro kangaroos lives almost everywhere in Australia, while the Whiptail Walibi mainly appears in the north-east. However, the most common kangaroo is the grey kangaroo, which subspecies are the Eastern Grey and the Western Grey.

 

Breeding

Even though 10% of the kangaroo population is shot every year, the number of kangaroos is still increasing.

 

Hunting

The Australian government is forced to spend many millions in order to control the kangaroo population. To pay for these expenses, the Australian government uses the money derived from the export of kangaroo meat. In spite of the fact that they want to decrease the number of kangaroos, Australia insists on sticking to the very strict regulations for the hunt of kangaroos. Every kangaroo hunter has to have a hunting permit. This means a certificate of proficiency is required. To obtain this certificate candidates must have a theoretical knowledge as well as a high standard of practical experience of animal welfare, hunting methods and meat hygiene. Moreover, all of the hunt on kangaroos is regulated by the Animal Welfare Organization of Australia.

There is no slaughter or hunting season for kangaroos. The meat is slaughtered and imported throughout the year. Sometimes there are some limits on supply but this is related to the huge distances within Australia (high transport costs in small quantities). Sometimes there is not any supply because of floods in certain parts of the country.

 

Meat

Kangaroo meat has a beautiful red colour and is low-fat. It also has a high proteïne grade and contains many minerals. The meat comes from animals that have lived in the wild, which means it pure free range meat. Kangaroo meat is slaugthered in EU approved slaughter houses and according to HACCP standards. Because of the enormous distance to Europe and the United States of America, most of the meat is shipped deep frozen. However, some importers fly chilled meat by air transport.

 

Cuts:
The following kangaroo parts are always or frequently available: striploin, loinfillet, long fillet, tenderloin, topside, silverside, rump.

 

Recipe proposal:

Meatballs in Wine Sauce

Ingredients (Serves 2-3):

1 pound ground Buffalo, Kangaroo, Ostrich, or Venison
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk or chicken broth
1 large egg whit or 1 large egg
1 tablespoon instant minced onion
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil
Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 pound mushrooms, quartered
1/2 onion, chopped
3/4 cup beef broth
3/4 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons catsup
1 bay leaf
1 clove minced garlic
4 teaspoons cornstarch and 4 teaspoons water

 

Preparation:

Combine meat, breadcrumbs, milk or broth, egg, onion, Worcestershire, and basil. Shape the meat into balls, about 1-3/4 inches (golf ball size) in diameter.

Set meatballs about 1/2 inch apart in a nonstick shallow-rim baking pan coated with a light spray of oil. Bake in 425ºF oven* until no longer pink in center (cut to test) and lightly browned, about 15 to 18 minutes. During cooking, turn with a wide spatula after balls are browned where they touch the pan.

Sauce: In a frying pan, melt butter and sauté mushrooms and chopped onion until soft, about 7 minutes. Add broth, wine, catsup, bay leaf and garlic. Cook 5 minutes. In a small bowl, blend cornstarch with water; stir into sauce. Cook, stirring, until mixture boils and thickens. Remove bay leaf.

Add meatballs to sauce and reheat.

For 1-inch balls, bake at 475ºF for 10 to 12 minutes.

 

Thanks to: SFEM President, Russell McCurdy

     

 

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