Friday, 8 April 2011

K is for... Kangaroo with kiwi sauce

I turned once again to the good people of Freedown Food Company for four succulent fillets (they come in bags of two and, to be honest four was far too much but two would have been pushing it).  The kangaroo was deliciously tender, juicy and subtly gamey without being overly rich. The kangaroo was a real winner on K night, and one guest described it as "a little mouthful of Heaven". As the evening's menu had so far been quite influenced by Korean cookery, I didn't see any reason to go off-piste for the kangaroo - despite the fact that I served it alongside a Hungarian potato dish. If you can't get hold of kangaroo you can substitute it for beef or venison.

The vegetarian main was a large kidney bean burger, made from the same mixture as the little kidney bean patties topped with kimchi served with Kir Royales. Jo missed the nibbles, so she didn't have to eat the same dish twice - phew!

Marinated kangaroo fillets

4 kangaroo fillets, weighing approximately 250 g each

for the marinade

6 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
8 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 red chillis, chopped
2 tsp sugar
A generous amount of ground black pepper

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Place the kangaroo fillets in a large sandwich bag and pour the marinade over the top. Tie the bag up securely and squidge and shake the bag to ensure all the meat in well covered. Pop the kangaroo in the fridge to marinate overnight. Take the meat out of the fridge an hour before you plan to cook it, to ensure it has come up to room temperature. 

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C Fan)

Heat a skillet or large frying pan until very hot. Pour in a generous splash of oil and sear the kangaroo quickly until nicely browned on all sides. Transfer the fillets to a baking tray and pop in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Ideally, kangaroo should be served rare as there is so little natural fat in the meat if you cook it for much longer it will dry out, but you can probably get away with leaving it in the oven for 15 minutes if you'd rather. Once out out the oven, leave the meat to rest for ten to fifteen minutes before carving.

I was on the phone to my mum and mentioned that I was making a kiwi sauce to be served alongside the kangaroo and she said,

"Eurgh, sounds disgusting!"

My wounded expression must have translated with my uncharacteristic silence and she immediately changed her tune to,

"Well, I'm sure it will be lovely, if you're making it."

Nice save, mum! But in actual fact, you had nothing to worry about. The kiwi sauce worked really well and the sweet, salty and sour notes balanced beautifully and turned out to be an accidental marriage made in Heaven with the Korean-style kangaroo. To be honest, if you'd eaten it blindfolded you might not have actually been able to tell it was kiwi sauce at all, although I don't think you'd be surprised when told. It had a strangely unplaceable, slightly exotic flavour, but once revealed it immediately became unthinkable that you could ever have mistaken it for anything else. Also, the slight green tint to the sauce might have helped give the game away, although I did have the foresight to sieve out the seeds to keep the guests guessing as long as I possibly could. I will be making this again. And as soon as possible.

Kiwi sauce

6 kiwis, peeled
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic
A finger of ginger, peeled and grated
3 tsp sugar
5 tbsp soy sauce
5 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sesame oil

Blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Transfer the ingredients to a small saucepan and simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adjusting if necessary, and pass the sauce through a sieve (if you wish) into a sauce jug to serve with the kangaroo.

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