You can't get more Australian than enjoying Kangaroo Burgers! Juicy and flavourful, it's the perfect Aussie bbq food, you probably won't even realize it's kangaroo. I made this recipe as a collaboration with Crazy Russian Dad for Thanksgiving, which Australians don't celebrate. Instead of roasting a turkey, I wanted to showcase an Australian food that many people would not have been exposed to in the States.
Can you eat Kangaroo?
Yes of course, it's not illegal if that's what you're wondering. And yes, Australians do eat their national animal, and it's delicious! It just sounds foreign and exotic, to eat a kangaroo. Kangaroo is exported to over 60 nations around the world.
Why is Kangaroo being banned in the USA?
Great question, but probably completely misguided and misunderstood by lawmakers and special interest groups. It's not law yet, but will likely unfortunately pass in the States. While kangaroo is a cute a foreign idea for people, here in Australia, it's as exciting as seeing a duck. Cows are sacred in India, but no one in the USA is banning them, even though they have negative environmental impact, and I say still very delicious, just like kangaroo!
Wild kangaroos are commercially harvested, the males only, which helps keep wild kangaroo populations under control. If not for this method, then the kangaroos would get culled without any sustainable benefit for anyone. When compared to cattle, wild kangaroos don't require extra water or food resources, and don't produce methane. It's considered a great red meat choice because of it's environmental benefits.
It's one of the most environmentally friendly meats you can buy! Plus don't forget how healthy kangaroo meat is! So don't listen to the propaganda about how cute they are, they are also delicious! They aren't at risk of dying out, there are about 30 million of the wild animals around out here, with limited food resources. But enough about that!
Do Australians Eat Kangaroo?
Australians do love their meat, but surprisingly, chicken is the most commonly consumed meat here, followed by beef and lamb. In our supermarkets, Chicken and Beef have the largest sections in the butcher, followed by lamb and pork. But every supermarket has a small section that sells kangaroo meat. It's usually kangaroo fillets, kangaroo steaks and ground kangaroo.
Someone once told me that kangaroo was only used for pet food. That isn't true, although I am sure that it is found in pet food here, just like beef products are found in pet foods in other countries. That's not the premium cuts of kangaroo found in our supermarkets. Even though not every Australian has eaten kangaroo, I promise you that it's eaten here because of its health benefits and just because people like it.
What does Kangaroo taste like?
Honestly, it tastes most similar to beef or lamb, but with a bit of a more stronger or game-y flavour. And the meat is incredibly lean. As a red meat, it's a great source of iron. Compared to beef, it has double the amount of iron. Kangaroo is considered a very healthy red meat, as it is very low in fat with less than 2% fat! I'd say it's one of the healthiest red meats out there.
How to cook Kangaroo
Kangaroo fillets are commonly sold and cooked like steaks. However, you won't enjoy kangaroo if you like your steak well done. It's recommended to be eaten medium rare. The meat can be quite tough if overcooked. I don't like the meat cooked like a steak and prefer to eat kangaroo in a minced form. In Australia the call it Kangaroo Mince, which is just ground Kangaroo meat.
Which brings me to my preferred way to eat kangaroo, as Kangaroo Burgers. I love eating these burgers because of the way it's prepared. The onion, garlic and parsley add complementary flavor to the meat, and the breadcrumbs make the patty taste lighter. The Worcestershire Sauce isn't added to the meat mixture, but I always shake a few dashes on top of each burger as it is cooking. It makes the meat taste amazing.
The final ingredient I add to the mix is Kefir, a yogurt type of fermented drink that originated in the Russia and the Caucacus regions. It's a staple in every Russian house, and I add it to the burger mix because it makes it burger juicier. I call these my Russian Kangaroo Burgers. 😂 If you don't have kefir, just use some Greek Yogurt.
It's easy to throw these burgers on the barbecue and cook the like regular burgers! Like I mentioned, you might not even notice they taste like kangaroo. Sometimes I make this recipe as a Kangaroo Meatloaf which we baste in bbq sauce. You could even use it for Kangaroo Meatballs. You won't go wrong with this kangaroo recipe.
When making Kangaroo burgers, just dress them like regular burgers. I like using Brioche Burger Buns I buy at Aldi, and of course, I use Russian Ketchup because it's THAT good! The usual suspects apply, like mustard, relish and pickles. You can make a gourmet burger by adding fancy cheese, beet relishes, onion jams or chutneys.
- Use fresh parsley! Fresh parsley adds a great flavor when compared to dried parsley, and is inexpensive to buy or grow. You will taste the difference!
- You can pan fry the kangaroo burgers instead of barbecuing them. Fry them in small batches or 4 in a frying pan, and place in a warmed oven while you continue to cook the rest of the burgers.
- Don't cook the Kangaroo Burgers medium rare. Ensure they are fully cooked throughout. Ground meat is different from steaks.
- Don't skip this! After mixing and forming the burgers, place on a tray and put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This helps them to keep their shape when you are cooking them.
- Use a Hamburger Patty Press or Mold. This makes consistent burgers in size and thickness which makes your cooking even, ensuring they are fully cooked.
- Use this recipe for Kangaroo Meatloaf or Kangaroo Meatballs
- Switch this recipe to ground beef to make regular burgers
How do Australians Bbq? Easy as! Aussies often go to the beach or a park to have a barbecue for dinner. Our parks have these incredible outdoor gas barbecues that are free to use for the public. You will see in the video me cooking at a local park on the beach by my house. It's one of the amazing things I love about Australian outdoor lifestyle.
I hope you enjoy Kangaroo Burgers as much as I do. Juicy and packed with flavor. If you see some Kangaroo meat in your supermarket, grab it and try this recipe! It will be a great conversation starter, and a way to visit Australia from your dinner table! Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 2 lbs /1kg kangaroo mince
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- ½ cup kefir can use Greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1 clove garlic minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- worcestershire sauce for barbecuing
Kangaroo Burger Filling
- sliced cheese
- lettuce and tomato
- 8 hamburger buns
- condiments ketchup, mustard, pickles
- Using your hands, mix the kangaroo, breadcrumbs, kefir, egg, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper together in a large bowl until evenly combined.
- Prepare a tray lined with baking paper or wax paper to place the kangaroo patties on.
- Using a hamburger patty press, place the hamburger mixture inside and press to form hamburger patties. If making by hand, divide the meat into 8-10 portions and form them into patties (about ½"-¾" thick).
- Place the individual patties on the lined tray, cover with cling wrap and refrigerated for 30 minutes. This helps the burgers to keep shape while they are cooking.
- Bbq the kangaroo burgers on medium heat until they are fully brown and cooked through. It will take about 3-4 minutes per side. Shake a few dashes of worcestershire sauce on top of each kangaroo burger while cooking for a delicious flavor boost. When burgers are cooked, top with a slice of cheese and allow to melt.
- To build your burger, add your favorite sauces on the burger buns, like mayo, ketchup and mustard. Go gourmet with beet relish, onion jam or a mango chutney. Add a kangaroo burger patty on the base of the bun and layer with some of your favorite toppings. Common ingredients are lettuce, sliced tomato, grilled onion, pickles and sliced beets. Cover with the top of the burger bun and enjoy.