While trying to fill our freezers with some more venison before the end of the season here in Tasmania, we managed to bag a few foresters on crop protection tags.
Foresters are Eastern Grey kangaroos. They are the largest marsupial in Tasmania and when allowed to overpopulate can cause significant damage to the land. However, they are wholly protected throughout the state so you do need special tags to be able to take them.
The particular farm we hunt on has quite a problem with Foresters so the farmer has been granted a number of crop protection tags to reduce the population in the area.
Despite being taken as a form of pest control, we try to utilise as much of the animal as possible. Some of the meat went to the farmer to feed his working dogs and the rest came home with us for our own consumption.
Kangaroo is not too different from most other red meat, given proper care and preparation. It is great in curries, casseroles, mince, sausages and can be a substitute for the red meat in many other recipes.
Jess has put together a short tutorial on the method we use to remove the bone from the rump. After removing the bone, we wet age the meat to allow it time to soften.
Here are a few quick tips and tricks if you find that your game meat has a very strong, ‘gamey’ flavour:
- Shot placement – correct meat preparation starts at the shot. The faster and cleaner the kill on any species of animal, the better the meat will taste. Guaranteed! The longer an animal is stressed or suffers for, the more adrenalin, cortisol and other nasty hormones are released into the muscles (i.e. the meat) of that animal. Take your time, make sure you have a solid rest and aim for the quickest (and most humane) kill. For us, this is almost always a chest shot aimed at the vitals.
- Cool the carcass and remove the skin as quickly as possible. Remove the entrails while you are in the field – you can watch this tutorial by David Dunne on how to do field dress a deer.
- Wet age your wild game meat for 5-7 days.