Let’s eat some kangaroo

A Greenpeace report report commissioned by Greenpeace that came out last week says, among other things, that eating more kangaroos is better for the environment than eating beef, on the basis that less land clearing is required, and kangaroos don’t produce the methane gas released by cattle and sheep. I assume they’d also consume less water.

So the other day in Coles I picked up some Kanga Bangas to try. (I don’t recall seeing them in Safeway.) From the looks of it, apart from any environmental benefits, they also have much less fat than conventional snags (something like 90-95% less, if I have my sums right), so they’ll actually be healthier too. They’re also surprisingly cheap, for something I would have thought might be a niche product.

I know Jen tried them recently and liked them… but the real test is: do the kids like the taste?

No they didn’t, not very much. And I wasn’t that keen either to be honest. Perhaps it’s not that they’re bad, but that they’re not the usual taste. But there might be some other brands out there, and I can also try frying rather than using the grill, so I’m not giving up yet.

UPDATE 5/8/2009: Greenpeace have been in touch to say that the Dr Mark Diesendorf report quoted in the media did not reflect Greenpeace policy, and: “Greenpeace doesn’t advocate eating kangaroo meat and we don’t have a position on whether eating kangaroo meat is good for the environment.”

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

15 replies on “Let’s eat some kangaroo”

Hang in there!! I’m working on getting Matt to try them..but I don’t have high hopes. For me it was mainly the health difference between the skippy snags and normal bangers.

Haven’t tried sausages, but I have had fillet on quite a few occasions and generally enjoyed it. The meat *is* game so it has to be properly hung before reaching market and then it has to be cooked the right way or it goes very tough.

As for eating our “national animal”, that’s only half the story. We *should* be farming *and* eating both kangaroos *and* emus! After all, the original inhabitants did it (the eating, not the farming) for umpty-thousand years and it never occurred to them that they should raise the creatures to the level of icon and subsequently starve themselves … although groups that had kangaroos or emus as their totem animals might not have indulged. Not sure about that because I don’t know enough about the details.

And finally – I wouldn’t be surprised to find that other folk deliberately steer clear of making edible animals “national”. A very cheap trick in my opinion! ;-)

The main thing about kangaroo in whatever form is not to overcook it, since it is very lean and it will come out very tough. Definitely don’t prick the sausages.

Roo fillets are good, but they tend to puff up a lot and not cook so well in the middle, so often it is good to slice them lengthways so you get two thinner bits. They are very good in stir-frys. The purple colour you get while cooking may be a bit weird at first, but ignore it.

I’ve heard the flavoured roasts aren’t so good. But try the fillets.

I concur that a good skippy steak is excellent eating. Just needs to be cooked right. So if you like your steak charcoal, then roo is not for you.

But I can recommend you stear clear of the roo mince. It is very, very different to normal mince, and had an almost gritty quality about it.

Next thing I want to see on the local Coles is croc steaks….

I’ve had then done on a quick-hot BBQ plate, and they seemed fine to me. But yes, Roo meat is best not overdone.

Must be a bit like Vegemite… an aquired taste, perhaps? heh heh

Mal :)

What goes against replacing cows with ‘roo meat is the way game meat is harvested and brought in from the field, compared to the comparitively clean way beef is harvested at an abbatoir.

But I do like a good bit of medium rare skippy. Very nice when cooked properly.

Roo is different to what we’re used to cooking. It comes out wonderfully in a roast or as a steak (but only if you like your meat on the rare side, overcooked roo is horrible); as mince, and I imagine sausages, not so much. Bolognese sauce made with roo mince tastes wrong (far to gamey), and I imagine that roo sausages would taste quite a bit like them fancy flavoured sausages. I’ve found that minced roo makes a good counter-point to beef in a JoshBurger, but Cathy can’t stand it.

To each his own.

The idea of roo snossages makes me gag, but I HAVE had a roo steak that was marinated (for days probably, considering how tough the meat is usually) and it was divine, could cut it with a spoon. It’s always what you do with it that counts. Not a good choice for people who like their meat well dead. I generally don’t go much redder than only slightly pinkish for beef. It’s kinda like rabbit and possum… and wallaby. All of which are nice cooked the right way but all definitely an acquired taste, which I have acquired.

Roo sausages, being still “boutique”, probably have much more meat in them than your average sausage. You’d probably be surprised by the flavour of a “normal” sausage that had more than about 10% meat, heh.

Myself — I rarely eat beef or lamb any more if there’s a roo option — and roo meat is now in plentiful supply at my local safeway :)

I certainly find Roo meat ‘gamey’ but a rare to medium rare steak is good – in small amounts. I am similar in my consumption of more common red meats, in that I can’t normally eat a full steak in one sitting.

My advice (and same with emu) – it’s nice, but don’t overdo it!



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