Beef and kangaroo

Beef and kangaroo

By
Ian Thorpe
Contains
7 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781740669788
Photographer
Gorta Yuuki (studio) and William Meppem (location)

When talking about red meat, it’s important to mention cuts, portion sizes and how regularly you should eat it. Lean cuts are what we should go for – as they are highest in protein and obviously lowest in fat – while big servings of fatty or processed meats such as sausages should be avoided. Red meat is an excellent source of iron, zinc and B vitamins, and lean red meat has been found to have no negative effects on cholesterol and can even be part of a cholesterol lowering diet.

For portion sizes, yours is probably a lot less than what you think it is, or what restaurants might lead you to think it is. Use the palm of your hand as an indicator of how much you should be eating – it varies for each person. If I’m having steak, I would much rather it be smaller and high quality than massive and average.

I eat red meat including beef, kangaroo, lamb or pork around twice a week. Eating beef less often is definitely a more sustainable option because of the environmental issues with cattle, including the emissions of greenhouse gases such as methane. Where possible, I go for organic grass-fed beef rather than mass-produced grain-fed beef. The reason is that grass-fed cows live a more natural life grazing in paddocks, but also that their meat has a good balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids (1:3 versus around 1:20 in grain-fed meat). While grain-fed meat can sometimes have a softer texture, grass-fed beef wins in flavour. Organic grass-fed beef is pricier than mass-produced beef, but with meat I think we should buy the best quality we can afford and remember not to buy or consume too much of it. Protein should be part of your meal, not all of it, and small portions of high-quality lean meat consumed less often is the way to go for a healthy, balanced and more sustainable diet.

I love kangaroo as another red-meat option in the kitchen, as it is incredibly lean and just as versatile as beef. Its flavour is similar to venison. The idea of eating kangaroo can be quite foreign to many Australians even though it is one of our native animals, but it can be cooked in the same familiar ways, such as roasting or grilling. I give a recipe for marinated fillets served with a sauce spiked with chilli, coffee and dark chocolate. The dish was inspired when I was travelling in Europe and had venison paired with chocolate, which was amazing. I added the chilli – as the combination of chocolate and chilli is another one I love – and the coffee adds a lovely layer of smokiness that reminds me of eating kangaroo cooked on the fire in the Australian bush.

Recipes in this Chapter

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