Kangaroo….yes, I finally did it.
And I can hear friends and family teasing my full fledged Aussie….ness now. But guys, not all Aussies eat kangaroo!
Well, it had been in my mind for the longest time to try out this meat ever since Masterchef happened to me. A lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ later….here I am with grilled kangaroo skewers marinated with red charmoula.
Red Chermoula is an incredible Moroccan condiment with North African origins; it has a ton of flavour, very vibrant and can be used in so many different ways in the kitchen. There is the green variant too; the green chermoula – the basic difference being the presence of paprika in the red one.
As Mourad Lahlou puts it in his book, ‘New Moroccan’ (from where the recipe for this red charmoula is adapted), chermoula should be seen as a defining Moroccan flavour rather than just labeling it as a marinade, dip or condiment.
Understanding the flavour profile of the chermoula will enable you to use it in multiple ways in your kitchen. Mourad has outlined plenty of ways in which you can put the red charmoula to use. But I decided to test it out with kangaroo.
Kangaroo meat is extremely low in fat and quite high in protein; so it has to be taken care, not to overcook the meat. This lean, red meat has many nutritional benefits like omega-3s, B group vitamins and also a good source of iron and zinc.
If you are buying kangaroo meat or for that matter any meat, make sure it comes from a sustainable and animal-friendly source. I bought mine from Gourmet Game; they also retail at most of the big supermarkets.
Being an extremely lean meat, it’s important not to overcook the meat. I bought the fillets which were cut into medium-sized cubes for the skewers. A few minutes on each side are all that you need with this meat.
Now, I do understand that many of you might not get kangaroo meat easily in other countries or would hesitate to consume it for various reasons. But that does not mean that you cannot enjoy the flavours of the charmoula. This recipe can be adapted to any meat and even to vegetables. Get as creative as you want!
And staying with the Moroccan/Middle Eastern theme; the kangaroo skewers with red chermoula were paired with pita bread, hummus, jajik (Turkish cucumber yoghurt dip), salad with lemon and sumac on the side. If you need a good hummus recipe, then I have one right here.
For red chermoula:
1. 1 tbsp salt
2. 1 tbsp sweet paprika
3. 1 tsp smoked paprika
4. 1 tsp ground cumin
5. 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
6. 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
7. 2 tbsp coarsely chopped parsley
8. 2 tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
9. 1 tbsp chopped preserved lemon rind
10. 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
11. 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
12. ½ cup water
13. ½ cup tomato puree
For kangaroo skewers:
14. 500 gms kangaroo fillets, cut into medium-sized cubes
15. 1 red onion, cut into cubes
16. Red chermoula, for marination
17. Salt, to season
18. Vegetable oil, to grill the skewers
To prepare red chermoula:
1. Put all the spices and the salt in a bowl and whisk well.
2. Then add the garlic, parsley, coriander leaves, lemon rind and lemon juice; mix to combine.
3. Finally, whisk in the oil, water and tomato puree.
4. You can store the excess in an air tight container in the refrigerator for upto 2 weeks.
To prepare the kangaroo skewers:
1. Marinate the kangaroo meat with red chermoula; season with salt if necessary (there is salt in the red charmoula). Keep for at least 4 hours or longer.
2. Soak the wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to avoid burning.
3. Skewer the meat pieces neatly adding a cube of onion at each end.
4. Heat the grill pan to high, season with oil and place the skewers. Baste with red chermoula once in between.
5. 5 minutes on each side is enough to cook the meat to medium. Cover with foil for another 10 minutes before serving. (Check one piece of meat to ascertain that it has cooked enough to suit your taste preferences. If you like it medium rare, 3 minutes on each side would do).
6. Serve with accompaniments.