Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Adventures in Odd Meats: Volume One

As adventurous carnivores in the New England area, it was only a matter of time before Adam and I made our to this happy destination

Ah yes, The Healthy Buffalo. The go-to destination for all meat-eaters who are tired of all the same old thang. Tired of beef? How about some buffalo? Sick of chicken? Maybe some alligator is what you crave?

Or elk, venison, ostrich, duck, wild boar, and a slew of other meat you probably won't find on the menu at your local steakhouse. This purveyor of frozen exotic meats has it all.

Adam's brother frequents this establishment, located in Chichester, NH and when he brought bison burgers and wild boar ribs to a cookout last year we knew we would be paying a visit soon. And so when Cookout Weekend aka Labor Day Weekend was upon us a few days ago and we were spending the weekend in New Hampshire - we figured now was our chance.

Before we even walked in, I was impressed with their outlook on life

Even for the most seasoned of carnivores, the selection at The Healthy Buffalo can be intimidating. Signs adorn the wall listing all their available meats and what cuts are available from stew-style cuts to tenderloin. So it's a good thing the owners know their stuff and are happy to help you pick out the best exotic meat to suit your palate.

Adam and I settled upon a large package of buffalo burgers, buffalo stew meat, wild boar tenderloins, and something a little more unusual than your usual forest dwellers.

Oh yes.

Even as we were purchasing it I was saying to myself "Really? Can I really eat kangaroo?". I mean I will try anything once but I also watched a lot of Winnie the Pooh as a child. Could I eat a potential Kanga or Roo?

Eh? Why not.

Since Adam and I both love burgers, and they are such an innocuous way to cook an unfamiliar meat we decided to give it a go and so last night we created, for the first time ever, 'Roo Burgers.
I put more in these burgers than I would if they had been plain old beef or even buffalo not just because ground kangaroo doesn't hold together all that well but because frankly? Raw ground kangaroo by itself is just not that appetizing.

The recipe, if you happen upon some ground kangaroo yourself, is as follows

1 lb ground kangaroo
1 small onion, diced
1 handful Italian breadcrumbs
1 beaten egg
salt and pepper

As with all ground meats - the less you touch it the better it tastes so just dump all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix with your hands until just blended.

Shape into four patties of equal size (more or less), cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. This will help the burgers hold together better while cooking

Well that is looking a little better at least.

Now for the grilling. I grilled mine in a pan rather than on the actual grill incase they were too hard to turn.

Now, the cardinal rule of grilling any super low fat meat is LOW and SLOW. So I grilled these burgers over low-medium heat for about 7-8 minutes a side. And you know what?

Looking pretty good!

They came out perfectly cooked, nice and brown with a hint of pink on the inside. The onions kept them nice and moist and the breadcrumbs added some nice flavor.


Neither Adam or I managed to finish our burgers. They tasted fine but you know Survivorman Les Stroud is right when he said "The more you think about what you're eating, the harder it is to do it". Of course when he said it he was referring to eating scorpions but you know it applies to kangaroo too. If someone else had cooked it and had me eat it without telling me what it was I think I could have enjoyed it more. I also think that burgers were actually not the way to go because a meat you are unsure of becomes infinitely more dubious when it is ground. In my opinion at least.

Also, the smell of raw kangaroo is not too nice. There is something decidedly, er, mammalian about it.

So there you have it. Not everything I post in this blog will be "WOW WHAT A GREAT MEAL YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY MAKE THIS !"

But at least it will be interesting.

Maybe next time we will go for the ostrich.


Nicky said...

Though, that might be because I'm a non-mammal eater.

Holly said...

hi sarah ive read your blog for ages- love it.
i am from australia so i thought that i would let you know that while there is loads of press about how healthy and super cheap kangaroo meat is, and how kangaroos are actually so common they are pests in many areas, not that many people here eat kangaroo meat, probably because we don't want to eat skippy too!
i live in sydney, things might be different in the country.
you can also get a kangaroo steak wiyth a fair degree of frequency in super fancy restaurants

Sarah said...

Holly thanks so much for your comment! I had hoped to hear from an Australian about this. It's interesting that there is so much press about kangaroo meat, and truth be told I think if it had been in steak form I would have liked it a bit more.

The 5 Bickies said...

My hubby is an Australian and I lived there after we were first married. When American friends came to visit we served kangaroo in a stir fry...a nice way to get a taste of it without being overwhelmed. We also served it this summer at a was simply seasoned, grilled, cut into small pieces and served with toothpicks. Another way to taste without making a meal out of it.