I had to clean out my freezer a few weeks ago to make room for all the Personal Trainer Food that arrived, and in doing so, I found something I forgot I had: KANGAROO MEAT!
I bought this a while back – a year or two ago, perhaps – at Sprouts. They have a small selection of frozen game meats, like elk, venison, bison, and ostrich. The kangaroo was there, as well, and I was intrigued.
It had never occurred to me that kangaroo was an animal that people would eat, but apparently it’s gotten more and more popular in the past 20 years, as Australia has allowed more hunting of wild kangaroos as a way to combat overpopulation. It’s exported to over 50 countries now, with Germany and France being the biggest markets.
I remember being really excited when I bought the kangaroo, and spending time looking up ideas and recipes, because I had no idea what I was going to do with it. And I don’t recall how it got buried in the back of my freezer, but that happened, too!
After thawing for a day in my fridge, I decided I would treat it like I would ground beef or turkey, and make something I was craving: tacos. But since I’m not eating carbs this month, I naturally had to make some changes. Here’s my recipe for…
Kangaroo Taco Lettuce Wraps!
First of all, you can absolutely make this recipe with ground beef, turkey or chicken. Make it with whatever you want!
I decided to bulk up my taco filling by adding some veggies, so I sliced a bunch of green onions and chopped up four beautiful portobello mushrooms.
Those went into a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Then, in another skillet, I browned the kangaroo, also with a tablespoon of olive oil.
In raw form, kangaroo looks like any other red meat.
And when it’s cooked, it looks like any other browned red meat, too!
I loaded the meat up with spices. If you have a pouch of taco seasoning, by all means, use that. I didn’t, so I coated my meat with:
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
I sprinkled a little bit of all those on the mushrooms and green onions, too, because why not?
When everything was cooked, I combined them into one skillet. Because tortillas (both soft and hard) have carbs, I decided to wrap my tacos in lettuce. I used napa cabbage leaves, but romaine works well, too. Or endive if you’re going for more of an appetizer-sized presentation.
Some of the filling went in each leaf, and I topped it with some chopped tomato and slices of avocado. Use whatever taco toppings you like best! Salsa, cheese, sour cream, whatever!
The burning question: What does kangaroo taste like? Well… it has a much stronger flavor than beef (‘gamey’ is the word that comes to mind), and it’s a little on the tough side (probably because it’s super lean – only 1 gram of fat per serving). I probably should’ve used more oil, but hindsight is 20/20.
On a whole, it was a fine, filling meal. It hit the taco craving that I was having, although I did miss the crunch of a hard taco shell. I can’t say that kangaroo ‘tasted just like beef’ because it didn’t, and it was clear I was eating something else. To be honest, kangaroo isn’t going to become a regular occupant in my freezer. It was a fun experiment – and you all know how much I love trying new things.
It turned out to be a kangaroo-intensive week. A few days later, I visited my friends Stephanie and Ellie, who had recently moved, and in their new home, they have framed photos up of Stephanie’s grandfather boxing a kangaroo! Kangaroo boxing (watch a 6-second video here) was a popular fad a hundred years ago, and Stephanie’s grandfather used to do it in vaudeville shows. Reminds me of the cartoon baby kangaroo who used to beat the crap out of Sylvester the Cat!
But I’m getting off topic. And I know the perfect four words to get me back on topic:
Keep it up, David!