Pancetta Wrapped Kangaroo Rack with Roasted Cauliflower and Sage Butter
This recipe accentuates the smoky flavor of kangaroo meat with sage and pancetta.
1/2 frenched kangaroo rack per two people
3-4 strips, or one sheet per half-rack, pancetta sliced ¼ thick
¼ head of cauliflower per person
Butcher’s twine or skewers
Oil with a high smoking point (peanut or grapeseed recommended)
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Make the sage butter and store in the fridge.
3. Trim the inedible silverskin from the outside of the racks. To do this, slip the point of a small knife into the meat directly under the silverskin, grab hold of the silverskin with one hand, and slide the knife across its length with the blade angled up. If you pull up on the skin, it should start to come off the meat in a strip. You may have to do this several times to remove all the silverskin.
4. Wrap pancetta around the rack to help keep the meat moist during cooking (this is called “barding”). Attach the pancetta by tying down with butcher’s twine (easier) or via skewers driven through pancetta and into meat towards the bones.
5. Place the racks in a hot pan on the stove top, bone side down first to render out pancetta fat. Then flip to bottom and other side in turn to finish rendering.
6. Move to the oven to finish cooking the roo meat.
7. When finished, let the racks rest five minutes before slicing to allow juices to redistribute through the meat.
8. Slice the kangaroo meat between ribs (either between each of them or every two ribs for a larger portion).
9. Remove the skewers or string (the pancetta should stick, and adds flavor but it can be removed at this point if you prefer your guests focus on the flavor of the kangaroo) and serve with cauliflower and topped with a quenelle of compound sage butter.
10. (Optional) If desired you can melt some more sage butter in the pan the rack was roasted in, using it to deglaze some of the fond (browned bits on the bottom of the pan) and use it to top the kangaroo rack for extra flavor and shine.
1. Trim leaves and stem from the cauliflower. Some of the leaves closest to cauliflower can be kept on. Quarter each cauliflower to get four servings.
2. Salt heavily, particularly in exposed inner cavities. Most of the salt will fall off in cooking, so put more on than you would like to actually consume.
3. Heat a seasoned cast iron skillet to medium heat on the stove, add oil (about a ¼ inch deep in the pan). Put 1/4th cauliflower cut side down in the pan for about 20 minutes.
4. Turn to the other cut side for 4-6 minutes. The cauliflower will appear blackened, but this is actually caramelization.
5. Move to the 400 degree oven to finish cooking outer dome (8-10 minutes depending on size of cauliflower) until tender and lightly browned.