Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Australia Day feast.

Yabbies and kangaroo will be on my barbecue this Australia Day.

Yabbies are those delicious freshwater crayfish that leave prawns for dead in the taste stakes. They are the perfect starter for a holiday barbecue.

Kangaroo is the leanest of all red meats. You would be too, with all that jumping around. There's barely an ounce of fat on them. Kangaroo is cheap and naturally organic and is one of the healthiest red meats. It is possibly the best red meat in the world. Be careful not to overcook 'roo, or it will dry out because of its low fat content. The best way is to sear it on high heat for a couple of minutes, flip and cook each side for another two or three minutes and then rest the meat under foil for five minutes before slicing and serving.

These recipes are as easy as falling off a log, so you can enjoy Australia Day without spending half of it in the kitchen.

Barbecued garlic yabbies.

Peel a bucket of freshly caught yabbies and marinate them in white wine and garlic overnight - as much garlic as possible, chopped very, very finely. Don't forget the claws. They contain delicious meat.

Grill or barbecue the yabbies on a very hot heat source, preferably covered, for just a few minutes. Serve with lemon wedges and crusty bread or with a chili dipping sauce.

Barbecued kangaroo.

Make a marinade of a cup of red wine, a clove of finely chopped garlic, a tablespoonful each of of tomato puree, balsamic vinegar and mustard and two tablespoonsful of demerara sugar.

Place your 'roo fillets in the marinade, cover with plastic film and leave in the 'fridge overnight.

Crank up your barbecue to white hot and then throw the fillets on the grill, brushing the meat with excess marinade as it cooks.

With what will we accompany our 'roo fillets and yabbies? Here's the perfect salad:

Mango and macadamia salad.

Cube the flesh of a couple of large mangoes. Lightly roast a cup of macadamias. Chop an avocado into slices and a red onion into rings.

Line a large salad platter with rinsed rocket. Arrange the avocado, onion rings and mango cubes on the rocket. Scatter the maccas and a cup of cherry tomatoes over the top.

That's it, except I can't resist adding crumbled blue cheese over to finish it off. It adds a creamy, tangy difference in texture as well as texture. But then I'd add blue cheese to a chocolate souffle if I could.

What will we drink with all this?

Let's start off with a bottle of Joe Grilli's Primo Estate colombard, which he has relabelled La Biondina. As Joe says, 'every year someone, somewhere claims to find a new perfect match for our La Biondina, but the favourites still remain – fish in any form, raw, fried, grilled, steamed ... oysters, crab or any crustacean are a dream.'

That takes care of the yabbies. For the main course, a shiraz with a flavour big enough to tame a kangaroo. A black chook should be able to do it.

Happy Australia Day.


Sara said...

Happy Australia Day to you! So, Kangaroo huh? We certainly can't get that here. Is it very gamey?

kitchen hand said...

Thank you, Sara!

Kangaroo is not so very gamey that its flavour can't be masked by a variety of marinades, sauces or native herbs such as lemon myrtle. I can take it without anything, just plain seared medium rare.

Carmen in Canada said...

Happy Australia Day to you! I was just curious.....I hail from Canada...what is a 'yabbie'? Some kind of crayfish? Sounds good whatever it is!

Anonymous said...

mmmm! fresh water lobster. Your comment about how good the claws are had me looking info about yabbies--up to 400 mm long.


Anonymous said...

Can't get roo or yabbers here but the salad sounds great. What's rocket? Obviously some kind of green but can you equate it to something I might know in the States?

Linda said...

Hmmm. I haven't eaten rabbit yet here in France. I don't think I could eat kangaroo. Can't eat horse meat either. But then, I'm not from Australia.

kitchen hand said...

Thank you, Carmen - yabbies are freshwater crayfish, sometimes referred to as crawfish.

Steevil, sucking the flesh out of the claws is the best party.

Anon., rocket is arugula, roquette, rugula or rucola. It grows like a weed, but some people pay $25 a kilo for it in the supermarket.

Linda, I love rabbit but I've never eaten horse. I had an uncle who ate horse - and snake - in his outback days.

kitchen hand said...

... part.

Anonymous said...'s a party if you're having lobster. I like the claw meat best in Atlantic lobsters.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

It seems yabbies (crawfish) are always about party and let the good times roll or maybe it's hop in Austrailia!!
Love crawfish!