16 December 2011

Kängurupfeffer (Kangaroo à la Hasenpfeffer)

I went to 3P Natural & Exotic Meats in North Van last week. Kangaroo mango sausage was the most "exotic" meat I could find there, so I bought three links. I went home, pan-fried one up, and ate it along with some green beans, corn and mashed potatoes. And it was sad and terrible. I guess I was worried about what would happen if I undercooked kangaroo, and therefore ended up with a dry, dry log of gamey meat. The mango added no flavour at all; in fact I suspect it was added to tone down the overall gaminess.

BUT. I still had two sausages left, and a little hope. And so I decided to go another route and make stew. Stew couldn't possibly be dry. Following some bus-ride kangaroo discussion, I took Jesse's suggestion and consulted other recipes that use gamey meat. Well, just one. The only recipe I could think of, thanks to Bugs Bunny: Hasenpfeffer.

I chose my spices based on a mix of the ingredients found in Google Result Number Two, and those on the Hasenpfeffer Wikipedia page (Google Result Number One).

So. I sautéed an onion, then added 1/8 tsp allspice, 1/8 tsp thyme, 1/4 tsp rosemary, 4 cloves, 2 bay leaves, 1 Tbsp veggie stock, 2 cloves of garlic and ten peppercorns' worth of pepper. (Cooking this up brought back the memory of some kitchen smells from my childhood.) Next I added the two sausages, chopped up in small pieces. At some point I also added the juice of about 1/3 of a lime.

Once the sausage was browned, I added a whole cup of dry vermouth, let the alcohol cook off, threw in 1/2 can of chickpeas, and then a large can of whole tomatoes (not in the hasenpfeffer recipe, but you generally can't go wrong with tomatoes in stews). Once it became clear the stew was going to be too thin, I poured in about 1/4 cup dry red lentils, let them cook and then gave the stew a few whirs with my immersion blender. Success! I guess. I have hereby eaten kangaroo and it was o-k. Thanks, Warner Bros.

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