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Braised Wallaby

Cooking time: 30 mins for prep and 1.5 hours in the oven.

INGREDIENTS

• A pair of chopped up wallaby hindquarters (this recipe would work just as well for any other type of game, but I recommend bones be left in for this type of cooking – it adds way more flavour to the dish). Note: a cheap, straight-cut saw from the hardware store will cut bone quite easily – no need to take your meat to the butcher.

• olive oil

• Cajun spice mix

• 2 large onions (sliced for sautéing)

• 1 punnet of field mushrooms (quartered)

• 2-3 large carrots (sliced longways into finger-thick sticks)

• 2-3 large parsnips (sliced longways into finger-thick sticks)

• 2 chorizo sausages (sliced)

• 100g smoked bacon (sliced)

• balsamic vinegar

• 500ml red wine

• 500g jar of tomato purée

• 400-500ml beef stock

• 5 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

• bay leaf

• few sprigs of thyme

• salt and pepper

METHOD

1. Coat wallaby pieces in oil and Cajun spice mix.

2. Heat some oil in one or – if you have it – two heavy frying pans (cast iron is my personal recommendation). Sauté onions and mushrooms in one pan and veggies (not garlic) in the other, or both together. (I find it nicer to sauté things separately if possible.) Add a little balsamic vinegar to the pans as this helps to caramelise the veggies. Cook until onions turn translucent and begin to brown slightly and the veggies begin to caramelise a little. Take your time – the flavour that develops this way is truly worth it.

3. Add sautéed veggies to casserole dish.

4. In the same pan as the onions, fry sausage and smoked bacon until both start to brown. Add to casserole dish.

5. Heat some more oil in the pan (or pans) and brown the meat in small batches. (Don’t crowd the pans – allow each piece to develop a nice bit of sear. Again, this where the flavour is at – trust me.) Once browned, transfer meat to casserole dish.

6. Deglaze frying pan(s) with some red wine; scrape all you can out of the pan into casserole dish.

7. Add another good swig of wine – 300ml or so.

8. Add tomato purée, beef stock, garlic, bay leaf and thyme.

9. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

10. Cover pot and add to oven pre-heated to 180° Celsius.

11. Cook approx 1.5 hours or until wallaby meat is fork tender. Remove bay leaf.

12. Serve with a side of flatbread or something to soak up the juices.

This recipe appeared in The Wild Table: Hunt for the Elusive Wallaby

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