I don’t usually do this. Amie has become Queen of Recipes on this blog and I have respectfully kept my distance, not wanting to encroach on her turf and therefore cop a bollocking.
We have a saying in our house and it generally runs along the lines of “Amie knows best”. Sticking to this keeps my life simple, I’ve found.
This recipe, however, is a damn good one and perfect for a cold winter night when all you crave is warm, comfort food. It also has the added advantage of having gained my wife’s approval. Tick!
On a cold Monday evening, I had asked Amie what she would like me to cook for dinner, it being one of those rare occasions recently when I would actually have time to do so. The answer was some sort of pie, left up to me to decide which. I do a good chicken pie and a pretty acceptable beef one too, but on this occasion I was feeling a little adventurous, so left it until my foray to the shops to decide which it would be.
Turns out neither. Once in the meat section of our local supermarket, I spotted fresh kangaroo steaks and the choice was made. I’d never made a pie with kangaroo before, so I decided to use the base recipe for a beef one and change it up on the fly. It would either be a triumph or fail spectacularly. Either way, a good story.
I really like kangaroo meat. It is lean, healthy and packed with vitamins. It takes a bit of nouse to cook with it correctly, as it can be a tough meat. You need to marinate it if you are simply going to cook it in a pan or on the barbecue. As it would be slow-cooked in this dish with the other ingredients in the filling, this wouldn’t be a problem.
Kangaroo Red Wine Pie - Serves 6
- Olive oil
- 1kg Kangaroo steak, cut into 2cm cubes
- 8 shallots, quartered
- 4 bacon rashers, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 8 baby gourmet potatoes, quartered
- 2 cups red wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 3 tablespoons water, warm
- Puff pastry
- Shortcrust pastry
- 1 egg
- Add the olive oil to a large saucepan with a deep base on medium/high heat. Add your kangaroo in batches and cook, removing once well-browned. Set aside.
- Add the shallots and bacon, cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Return the meat to the pan and add the stock, wine, salt and pepper. Cover, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and simmer for a further 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Increase the heat, add the potatoes and bring to the boil again. Then reduce the heat once more and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
- Mix the cornflour with warm water to form a paste. Add to the saucepan, stirring until it thickens, and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Depending on how thick you want your filling, you might want to repeat this– I like my pie filling fairly thick so that it holds together once the pie is cut open.
- Stir in the basil, oregano, parsley and mint. Add more salt and pepper to taste (I love a peppery pie, so I tend to add a lot). Remove the pan for the heat and allow the filling to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease a large pie dish with butter and roll out you shortcrust pastry for the base. This dish would be great with home-made pastry, but on this occasion I used the store-bought stuff. Place the rolled pastry in the dish and smooth around the edges.
- Place the dish the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the pastry has had time to cook and become crunchy. Doing this will avoid a soggy base for your pie.
- Remove the dish from the oven and spoon the filling into it. I generally add more pepper at this point too.
- Roll out the puff pastry and place on the top of the dish, crimping the edges to seal it with the shortcrust. Trim the edges and get creative with the leftovers; I rolled mine into strips and made a criss-cross pattern on top of the pie on this occasion. Amie also made some little pastry roses and put them on top at the end.
- Beat your egg and, using a pastry brush, evenly spread across the pasty on top of the pie. This will make the top super-crispy and golden, which I love. I am pretty liberal with the egg generally.
- Cut a small “v” in the top of the pastry to allow the heat to escape, then place in the oven for 20-25 miniutes, or until the top is that lovely golden colour.
As I said, this was a bit of an experiment but it turned out even better than I had hoped! The kangaroo meat was super-tender and juicy, combining with the flavours of the thick filling and herbs extremely well. This recipe also meant we had lunches for the next couple of days. Win win!