Kangaroo with Plum Sauce

I recently visited my niece in Melbourne, Australia. She prepared the most amazing meal for me in her efficient kitchen.

It included Kangaroo with Plum Sauce, Wattle Seed Roasted Vegetables, and Lemon Myrtle Salad with Pears and Apples.

While most of us won’t find kangaroo in our meat markets, I couldn’t resist sharing her recipe and the intel I learned about some of Australia’s famous spices. The Kangaroo is marinated in a lovely lemon pepper sauce that includes crushed Tasmanian Mountain Pepperberries.

Tasmania is an island south of Australia and is a favorite vacation spot for Australians. Here is a bit about Tasmania. The Tasmanian Mountain Pepperberry is wild harvested only on Tasmania. When I first tasted it, I thought it was a spice combination concocted by my niece but it turns out, this unique, lemon, pepper, floral delight comes from the dried pepperberry. Always crush the pepperberry right before use.

Tasmanian Pepperberry

Kangaroo is often described as a gamey meat. Growing up eating deer, I found Kangaroo to be more like grass fed beef or even lamb. It is also a very lean meat. Similar to challenges faced in the United States with exploding deer populations the same is true for the kangaroo in Australia. Kangaroo has been consumed by indigenous populations for centuries. As it increases in popularity, more chefs are preparing kangaroo.

At this point, some of you may be wondering why I would publish a recipe containing kangaroo meat in a blog that strives for readers to adopt efficient cooking methods. There are two reasons, one is to demonstrate that amazing meals can be cooked in small spaces and the second to illustrate that the inspiration for recipes and combinations of flavors can come from many sources. I plan to substitute pork tenderloin when I cook this at home. Lucky for my family, I brought home some pepperberries. Various online marketplaces sell pepperberries so you can give them a try too. This recipe serves two, the third piece of meat I’ll save for the next day’s lunch. It will be delicious in a vegetable medley adorned with the plum sauce.

You will see verjus as an ingredient for the marinade. Verjus is the juice from unripened grapes. It is tart but not as sharp as vinegar. Both white and red verjus are available and a good substitute is white wine or dry sherry. Lemon juice always works too. The goal is to breakdown the raw meat so it absorbs the flavor in the marinade.

Lemon thyme is also listed as an ingredient. Lemon thyme is an herb that has a lemony, mild thyme flavor. It is a lovely addition to your herb garden. I wouldn’t recommend purchasing lemon thyme to add to your spice cabinet unless you plan to add it to your recipes on a regular basis. You can always substitute a sprinkle of thyme with lemon zest.


Plum Sauce:

4Deep red plums, de-stoned and quartered
5-6Shallots, sliced
3Roma tomatoes, halved
2Garlic cloves, diced
1Red chili pepper, diced
1 teaspoonPowdered ginger
2 tablespoonsSugar
2 teaspoonsWorcestershire sauce
1 teaspoonCrushed Tasmanian Mountain Pepper Berry
1/2 cupWater


3 mediumKangaroo steaks
1Red chili pepper, diced
1 teaspoonLemon thyme
1 teaspoonCrushed Tasmanian Mountain Pepper Berry
1 Garlic clove, crushed
1Splash verjus

Directions for the plum sauce:

  1. Combine the plum sauce ingredients in a saucepan, cover and let simmer on low heat for an hour or two.
  2. Stir regularly and add water as needed to maintain a thick sauce consistency.

Directions for the kangaroo:

  1. Mix together the chili pepper, lemon thyme, crushed pepper berries, garlic and verjus.
  2. Marinate the kangaroo for several hours.
  3. Sear the pieces on all sides and then place them in a baking dish and slow roast in a 325 degree oven for 2.5 hours.
  4. Alternatively, grill on a low flame on a barbeque or even better in a smoker!
  5. Serve with the plum sauce.


  • Substitute pork or lamb for the kangaroo.