Smoked Kangaroo and Persian Fetta matched with Kooinda Pale Ale

Kris: I have always thoroughly enjoyed the cheese from Yarra Valley Dairy . I found some of their amazing Persian fetta at the Queen Victoria Markets, as well as some smoked kangaroo. I also grabbed a Kooinda Pale Ale, a favourite Victorian beer of mine and one that I thought would go really well with the marinated cheese and the kangaroo.

Kris: The smoked kangaroo, marinated fetta and Kooinda pale ale were a beautiful unity of flavours. The fruity/malty character and hop bitterness of the beer balanced the creaminess of the cheese and the smoky/sweet flavours of the kangaroo. A great entree to a bout of Jenga.

Caroline: The Fetta and Roo were really just fuel to get us through the Jenga championship round. It’s very serious, as you can see.

Caroline: As Jenga stakes rose, it was time to up the anti beer wise as well. An epic game needs an epic beer, Stone Vertical Epic from San Diego  11-11-11 to be exact.

Kris: I must say a massive thanks to Mike C for bringing this beer all the way back from San Diego to share with us all during our last visit to Melbourne. It truly was a treat. I did actually get to try last years release in 2010 whilst in the U.S., so it was great to be able to compare the two. It is a yearly release from one of the world’s greatest breweries and is definitely one for sharing with good friends. It is a 9.4 % Belgian Strong Pale Ale, brewed with a belgian yeast, a big mash up of hops and chili’s. I wish we had another couple to taste over the next couple of years. Sweet malt and yeast character matched with some piney/fruity hops and a nice touch of pepper/cinnamon and clove flavours.

Caroline: The pressure was almost unbearable; palms sweating, hearts pounding, snacks diminishing, and beer warming. This round separated the amateurs from the pros, and as you can see, not everyone could handle it.

(By the way, I never toppled the tower)

Kris: Subtle Caroline.

Caroline: What? did someone say something?

Kris: Yes. You’re very good at Jenga.

Caroline: just sayin…

Kris: You forgot I didn’t lose a round either!

Kangaroo and Poached Pears

Kangaroo is such a lean and super tasty meat, as long as it is cooked rare or medium rare. It is also a great match with wine and beer.

Kris : I recommend buying kangaroo fillet as opposed to kangaroo steak. It is a couple of dollars extra per kilogram, but worth it.

A great trick is to use pineapple in the marinade, which helps to tenderize the meat.
Kiwifruit and Paw-paw also contain enzymes that work in the same way.

I normally combine some macadamia oil, balsamic vinegar, pineapple pieces, garlic and fresh thyme to make the marinade.
1 -2 hours is more than enough marinating time in a covered bowl in the fridge.
Then leave the meat to come to room temperature and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side on a really hot cast iron griddle pan. Let it rest a couple of minutes before serving.

Serve with Tomato and Lemon Myrtle chutney (the recipe is on our recipe page) or a simple salad of rocket, olives and goat’s chevre.

As a beer match I recommend Kostritzer Schwartzbier (Germany) or Schwartz Brewery Dark Lager (N.S.W).

As for wine, a Pinot Noir, cool climate Shiraz or Grenache would be an ideal match. A great Tasmanian Pinot to try is 3rd Child from Campania.

Caroline : This is our FAVORITE port. It’s the Chateau Reynella 16 Year old Rare Old Tawny Port. It comes in a 375ml bottle and is only $8.99 at Dan Murphy’s! I can’t tell you how many bottles of this we used to drink when we lived in Melbourne (and had Dan Murphy’s down the street…dangerous)

Even after trying some more expensive ports, this one still remains my favorite. It tastes like figs and spicy fruit and has a soft, thick mouth feel.  It was a great match to our dessert, Spicy poached pears.

Spicy Poached Pears

Peel and quarter 2 pears and remove the seeds (or used peeled and whole, they take longer to poach) 

In a pot, make a simple sugar syrup of 1 cup of sugar and 1 & 1/2 cups of water.
Place a cinnamon quill broken in half, a few cardamom pods, 2 slice’s of ginger, a few cloves and a chili sliced long ways into the syrup.

Let it simmer for a while to extract the flavour’s of the spices.

Add the pears and poach them until tender.

Serve with marscapone (or whipped cream) and a small amount of the strained poaching liquid.

Delicious and easy to make.