Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Paleo-what now? (Delicious kangaroo steaks with fancy pumpkin salad)

So I've been doing a bit of twittering lately. It's made me wonder: why the hell wasn't I doing it before? It seems a pretty sensible way to get information/make connections with other food nerds and enthusiasts. I think the only answer is: I'm not very techy and also a bit retarded.

Why am I telling you this?
I am telling you this because I have started taking recipe requests/challenges via twitter. This is enormously exciting, because recipe challenges were one of the major reasons I started this blog in the first place, and I like placing myself in difficult and dangerous, culinary restrictive situations. I also like making recipes that feel like these culinary restrictions aren't even there. 
I might also be telling you this to hint that you might want to maybe follow my (much shorter) ramblings on twitter (@kcrusader if you're interested). That'd be swell (plug plug).

Anyway, the first request I received made me squint a little at my screen and sent me scampering off to wikipedia to investigate what the diet I'd been asked to design for actually was. 
The Paleo diet. I know it sounds like you get to eat dinosaurs, but wikipedia says no. This could be seen as a disappointment, but if you think laterally about it, it's not really: seeing as there aren't actually any dinosaurs left any more, so you'd die of hunger pretty quickly, rendering the diet: ridiculous, because:

The paleo diet (what even is it?)
It's when you eat like you're channelling a hunter-gatherer. No eating of stuff that would've required cultivation/attention to produce/consume (eg. grains and potatoes). You're supposed to focus on using seasonal produce and lean meats. And I have to say: I would never go on this diet, but it does sound pretty healthy and interesting. So I started thinking about flavours that I have experimented with lately and enjoyed that fitted into these parameters... and remembered a kangaroo dish I'd developed a while back, I loved this dish when I first put it together, and I wasn't designing it for any special diets, purely for deliciousness It would probably work well with a different game meat if you can't get hold of kangaroo, for eample: if you don't live in Australia. If you've never tried kangaroo, or even if you're not a huge fan of it, try this anyway, it's nice. But really nice.
The pictures also include an almond cake that i tried, but in the end I was happier with this dish without the almond cake addition, in case you were confused about that part/thing/aspect.

I also can't go any further without showing you a picture of the artistic recipe card that was created for this dish. While I'm inventing whoever is on hand in my house is often recruited to write up ingredient amounts and the method as I cook to ensure that the process gets documented, enabling me to retype up everything for your lovely eyes. This recipe card comes c/o Macca's artistic interpretations and possibly boredom. I didn't quite realise the amount of work that was going into the presentation for a while (or why it was taking so FREAKING long to write the ingredients down) - ain't it artsy-lovely?

Sumac crusted kangaroo with preserved lemon and pumpkin salad
Serves 2

You need:
250g of kangaroo steak or fillet (try to get a thick steak, like 5 + cm in depth)
1 tsp sumac
1 tsp black cumin seeds/nigella
Salt and pepper

300g peeled Kent pumpkin, chopped into about 1.5 cm cubes
1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
½ tsp sumac
½ a preserved lemon
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup roughly chopped flat leafed parsley leaves
¼  tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sultanas
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 200C

Place the pumpkin into a baking dish, toss through the roughly chopped garlic, sumac and 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Season.

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, until the pumpkin starts to brown slightly and is soft all the way through, but still holds shape. Do not turn the oven off.

Remove the pumpkin from the baking dish and set aside to cool.

Cook the onion in a frying pan (medium heat), with 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, until it’s soft and quite transparent, remove from the heat, add to the pumpkin.

Scoop out the flesh of the lemon, discard this, then chop the rind into little squares of about 2 mm x 2 mm.

Mix all the remaining salad ingredients through the pumpkin mix. Set aside while you prepare the kangaroo.

Place the black cumin seeds and sumac in a wide bowl with some salt and pepper.

Just cover each kangaroo steak in the sumac/cumin mix.

Heat a heavy based fry pan to hot.

Fry the steaks for about 2 minutes on each face, this should crisp up the coating and brown the meat nicely. Try to do as many steaks at once as possible, maybe have 2 pans going at once?

Place the steaks onto baking trays in the oven.

Bake for 10 minutes, then take out and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Slice the steaks diagonally.

Serve with the salad (possibly sprinkled with some olive oil and parsley) immediately.

here's another idea for you how could serve it...


  1. As a bearded hunter-gatherer sort I can assure you all that it was like @Kcrusader had cooked a delicious time machine.

  2. Hello. Welcome to twitter, glad that you are enjoying it. I only started using twitter last year as a way to tweet about my blogging but I have also found it a useful source of information and I have met other Perth foodies through twitter.

    Taking recipe challenges through twitter sounds like a fun project. Look forward to reading more.

    The paleo diet sounds alright. I am down with the seasonal produce aspect of it but not the lean meats, I like a lot of fat on my meat (it's tastier!).

  3. Thanks! Twitter has proved pretty useful already. Really enjoying getting in contact with other Perth food nerds...