Kangaroo and Shiraz: The ultimate pairing

Kangaroo Meat

Kangaroo can be a tricky dish to make if you aren’t prepared for the texture or flavours of the meat.
It’s a great alternative to beef, considering it has a similar texture, but with only 2% fat. To ensure you get the best of this dish, it’s imperative to prepare it correctly, and serve it with just the right wine.

When preparing kangaroo meat, most would agree that marinating the meat for as long as possible will help tenderize this intensely tough meat. While in the marinade, it is best to keep it in the refrigerator – but should be brought to room temperature before being cooked.

A popular (and almost perfect) method for cooking kangaroo is on a hot grill – whether it be stove-top or over a fire. The importance is that the grill should be extremely hot before placing the meat on it. Also ensure the meat is oiled on both sides before placing it in the pan.

Whatever your meat preference is, kangaroo should never be cooked above medium. Considering how lean and tough the meat becomes when over-cooked, it would only be beneficial to keep it at medium-rare to medium.

Also, just like with beef, the meat should rest before slicing to avoid the juice running out and drying out the meat. And when you do slice it, go against the grain.

Wine Pairing Kangaroo

When it comes to the perfect wine pairing for this dish, opt for something that is as dark and heavy as the meat is; you don’t want the one dramatically overpowering the other. The best option would be Shiraz – especially a cool climate one that is able to be bold, yet has the needed elegance.

Yarra Valley is currently produces cool-climate Shiraz’s that are absolutely spectacular. The wines from this region still have common Shiraz notes without being too heavily-bodied and overwhelming.
Common characteristics of these Shirazes include, cherries, prunes, dried fruit with smoky and meaty elements too. It’s a great combination and both the wine and meat will add to each other even more.

History of Kangaroo Eating

The consumption of Kangaroo in Australia goes back centuries.  Aborigines hunted kangaroo since the very beginning and relied on it for the protein. The bones of the kangaroos were also used to create hunting spears. Kangaroo was more than just a simple meat for the indigenous people – and the rituals behind preparing it were quite unique. In central Australia, where kangaroo meat was most popular, carcasses were often placed in a hole with hot coals over it and served alongside the body fluids.
This changed, however, and it became illegal to hunt kangaroos. Only in the 1980’s did those laws allow controlled, specific hunting of these animals (in the south) and in 1993 for the other areas. The over-population of kangaroos was what drove a big part of this legalization – but only allowing five out of the fourty-eight species of kangaroo to be used commercially. 

It is amazing to think how far along the consumption of this meat has come – and how it can be maximized today to create absolutely amazing flavours. The best part about it is the great wine available today to just give it that extra edge.