I love Thai flavours. They’re my go-to whenever I’m trying a new ingredient. It’s so easy to manipulate the sweetness, sourness, saltiness, heat and flavour just by tweaking a few things, so you can adjust for any unexpected flavours.
Kangaroo tail can be a bit difficult to eat, with a couple of little bones throughout, but once slow cooked, the meat in each piece shrinks, revealing half the bone in a nifty little handle.
Deep frying quickly after the initial slow technique is a common South East Asian technique, and one that works perfectly here, creating a crispy crust on the meat with deliciously soft, gelatinous, meaty insides. And it doesn’t taste too strongly of kangaroo (if that’s something that bothers you).
Recipe: Twice-cooked Coconut Kangaroo Tail with Thai Pickle
1kg Kangaroo tail, skin on, cut into evenly sized segments
3 tbsp vegetable oil
800ml coconut cream
180ml fish sauce
2 stalks lemongrass, white part only
5 large red chillies
1 red onion
3 knobs galangal
140g palm sugar
Vegetable or rice bran oil for deep frying.
Lime, coriander and finely sliced red chilli to serve.
1 Lebanese cucumber
2 shallots (or French shallots, for those in NSW…)
2 large red chillies
Half a crisp apple, such as a granny smith
50ml rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp water
Begin the first cook of the kangaroo at least four hours before you intend to serve it, though you can prepare it up to the day before.
Preheat your oven to 150°C. Heat the oil in a heavy, lidded cast iron pot. Brown the kangaroo tail segments all over, then remove from the pot.
In a food processor, roughly chop the lemongrass, chilli, onion and galangal. Transfer to the pot, still with the oil from the kangaroo in it, and cook it over a low heat until the ingredients start to sweat and reduce in size.
Add the coconut cream, fish sauce and 3 cups of water, and bring to the boil. Add the browned kangaroo pieces, place lid on pot, and put into preheated oven for 2.5 hours.
After this time, remove the kangaroo from the coconut stock and allow to cool over a cake rack so that it can dry all over. When cooled, strain coconut stock, and reserve 1 cup in a small saucepan.
Prior to serving, heat enough vegetable oil in a large pot to 180°C. Deep fry kangaroo pieces until brown and crispy all over. Heat reserved coconut stock in small saucepan and spoon over fried kangaroo.
Serve with pickle, and rice*.
For the Pickle: put the sugar in a small pot with the water and, over a low heat, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool completely, then mix with the vinegar. Cut up remaining ingredients (except the coriander) into a fine dice, leaving the apple until just before serving (or it will go brown). Stir through the vinegar dressing, then the coriander.
* For an extra burst of flavour, cook your rice in a mix of 50% water and 50% coconut stock.