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Recipe: Kangaroo tartare

01 June 2016
Recipe: Kangaroo tartare

Eating Skippy the Kangaroo might not be the norm in the UK, but after spending a few years down under, I grew very fond of the meat and thought that Brits would love it. I know that kangaroo fillets aren't exactly a dime a dozen in Britain, but if you replace it with venison you'll get a great little Caledonian interpretation of the dish.

Serves 4

  • 300g kangaroo fillet, finely chopped
  • 4tsp capers in brine, drained and rinsed
  • 4tsp cornichons, very finely chopped
  • 4tsp red onions, very finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Edible flowers, to garnish
  • Nasturtium leaves, to garnish
  • 12 thin slices of toasted pumpkin or sourdough bread, to serve

For the smoked water

  • About 35g cherry wood chips for smoking (the amount will depend on the size of your container)
  • 300ml water

For the mushroom ketchup

  • 300ml smoked water (see above)
  • 50g sugar
  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1kg button mushrooms, trimmed and chopped

For the mushroom powder

  • 200g dried shiitake mushrooms
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

For the pickled baby beetroot slices

  • 150ml water
  • 75g sugar
  • 75ml rice wine vinegar
  • 4 raw baby beetroots, scrubbed and sliced wafer-thin, using a mandolin

For the mushroom crisps

  • 4 fresh shiitake mushroom caps, cut wafer-thin, using a mandolin

For the sous vide egg yolk sauce

  • 400ml vegetable oil
  • 4 free range egg yolks, at room temperature

To make the smoked water, place a 2cm-layer of wood chips in a sturdy baking tray. Light the wood chips, then place the tray over the burners on the hob set to high. Once the flames die down and the wood chips are smoking, turn the burners to very low, place a perforated baking sheet on top and cover tightly with kitchen foil.

Pour the water into a small heatproof bowl. After a ‘cloud' of smoke has built up under the foil, add the bowl to the tray, re-cover the tray tightly and leave the water to smoke for 10 minutes, or until it becomes slightly dark and has taken on a smoky flavour.

To make the mushroom ketchup, combine the smoked water, sugar and vinegar in a saucepan over a high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and bring to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool.

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they are browned and have reabsorbed any liquid they give off. Pour in the smoked water mixture and continue simmering until the mushrooms are tender.

Transfer the mushrooms and any remaining liquid to a blender and blitz, then pass through a fine sieve. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then transfer to a squeezy bottle and leave to cool completely. Chill until required.

Make the mushroom powder up to one month in advance and store in an airtight container at room temperature. Put the dried shiitake mushrooms and salt in a food processor and blitz until a fine powder forms. Transfer to an air-tight container and set aside.

The pickled baby beetroots should be made at least two days in advance, but are best made at least four days in advance and will keep for up to one month in the pickling liquid in a covered container in the fridge. Combine the water, sugar, vinegar and salt to taste in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil, without stirring.

Remove the pan from the heat, add the beetroot slices and leave them in the liquid until it cools to room temperature. Cover and chill until required.

The mushroom crisps take at least six hours to dry and can be made up to two days in advance and stored in an airtight container until required. Preheat the oven to 150°C and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Place the mushroom slices on the baking sheet in a single layer and roast for six hours or until dry. Leave to cool completely.

The egg sauce should be started about seven hours before you plan to serve, but can be made up to one day in advance and stored in a covered container in the fridge. Place the oil and egg yolks in a heatproof container that fits inside a sous vide water bath and place the container in the machine. Set the temperature to 65°C and leave for 1¼ hours.

Meanwhile, place a bowl of iced water in the sink. Transfer the yolks to the bowl and leave to cool, then place in the fridge for at least six hours, or up to 12 hours. Just before serving, use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs from the water to another bowl. Use a fork to whisk them to sauce consistency and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a squeezy bottle or a piping bag fitted with a small round tip.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the pickled beetroot slices from the brine and pat dry.

To serve, toss the kangaroo pieces with the capers, cornichons and red onions, and season with salt. Divide the tartare among four plates, using a 10cm ring if you want a professional finish, and dot each with about one tablespoon of the egg sauce. Add about one tablespoon of the mushroom ketchup, then add the mushroom crisps and pickled beetroot slides. Garnish with the flowers and leaves and sprinkle mushroom powder around each portion. Serve with toasted bread.

Recipe taken from M: A 24 Hour Cookbook. Photography by Jodi Hinds

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