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Kangaroo Stew | Follow The Rabbit Proof Fence

There had been three different maintenance inspectors since they started; the new man was a good boss and they liked him very much. Sometimes he stayed at their camp to share a meal with Maude’s family. He enjoyed the kangaroo stews and dampers that her mother and aunts made.

-Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence, Doris Pilkington

follow the rabbit proof fence kangaroo-stew

As I made this recipe, I remembered that most people who pop by Food in Lit visit via the US, and I realised how unusual this dish must be. But when I first visited Australia, kangaroo would’ve been only one of many exotic/odd thing I came across.

Of course nothing tops the odd list like Vegemite does. It’s unfortunate that we first misunderstood what it first was, and thinking it was some chocolate spread, scooped a large dollop onto our toast and smeared it thickly on. If you ever, rather unfortunately, ever have to try Vegemite, let me pass on this ‘eating Vegemite’ tip.

  1. Spread it very thinly and add butter underneath.

Make that two.

Only Australians could ever like Vegemite… Yes, it’s an ‘acquired taste’, usually reserved for those who have grown up from a young bub on the stuff.

Fortunately, unlike Vegemite, kangaroo has grown on me. Gamey, but recommended based on its leanness as a meat, you’ll find some sort of kangaroo meat in the meat section in most grocery stores in Australia.

If you ever make it over here to the land down under, I’d also recommend you try adding some bush spices to this dish like the native pepper or bush tomato. However for this recipe, on the off chance someone gets their hands on some kangaroo in another country, I’ve kept this recipe simple. Both kangaroo stew and damper is traditionally made over a fire pit, making it a wonderful food to make while camping.

Kangaroo Stew
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 kg kangaroo meat, diced
  • 2 large onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 400g can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 170g can of tomato paste (concentrated)
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tsp cornflour to thicken
  • 1.5L water
Instructions
  1. Take a large pot and heat over medium heat.
  2. Add oil and sauté the onion.
  3. Add in the kangaroo meat and cook 1 minute each side.
  4. Add in the vegetables, tomatoes and tomato paste and cover with the water.
  5. Simmer on low for 1¼ hrs.
  6. When almost finished, spoon out some of the liquid into a small bowl, whisk in the cornflour so it's well mixed, then add back into the stew and stir.
  7. Cook for another 5-10 minutes to allow the corn flour to thicken.
  8. Serve with damper (or another bread).
Notes
adapted from the book Australian Aboriginal Culture

 

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