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Monday Meal Review: Australian Barbie

This is meal #9 in my personal challenge to eat one meal from every country in the world.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

For the third time Keith waved his hand over $50 dollars worth of kangaroo meat to feel the grill.

“I don’t know why the grill isn’t hot,” he muttered, “It’s just warm. It won’t get hot. The grill should be hot. I think it’s out of gas.”

I looked over at our friends who were expecting their first taste of kangaroo any minute. A few glanced back at me. I felt my neck get hot and repressed the urge to get mad. The grill had not even been on 10 minutes.

The irony? For the last three days Keith and I had this exact conversation at least five times:

Me: “Do we have enough gas for the grill?”

Keith: “I don’t know.”

Me: “We’re having 15 people over. We’re going to use a lot of gas.”

Keith: “Yeah.”

Me: “You don’t think we need any gas?”

Keith: “Yeah. Maybe.”

Hosting tip of the week: Never be caught with your grill down. Always have an extra tank of gas handy, especially when having a large group of hungry bikers to your home. IF you should ever be caught with your grill down, be sure to make fun of the person who caused the problem to keep your mood up. And pass out more beer while someone goes to get the gas.

Thank goodness the kangaroo survived the incident.

Kangaroo Bites: [Recipe]

Great conversation piece and appetizer

What I liked most about this dish:

Despite the gas fiasco, the kangaroo bites were especially tender. Perhaps this was thanks to the low, slow heat they got from our sputtering gas grill. Does this mean I am supposed to thank my husband for letting us run out of gas? How ironic!

Some of our friends thought the kangaroo tasted like duck; the meat tasted exactly like steak to me. I was pleasantly surprised how much everyone enjoyed them. A big conversation dish, easy to serve to a big group due to the kabob format, and quick to cook (making them an ideal appetizer).

What I liked least about this dish:

At $19.99/lb, these kabobs are not cheap. If you’ve got the cash, and you live in Tulsa, head down to Harvard Meats. Just call ahead and make sure they have some in stock.

Bratwurst:

What I liked most about this dish:

Easy, easy, easy. Throw bratwurst on a hot grill and you’ve got good eats in about 25 minutes. Here’s a recipe forĀ great grilled bratwurst. If you have burgers and a lot of other food at your barbecue, you don’t need a brat for each person. I would do about 1 brat for every 2 people.

What I liked least about this dish:

The brand of brats we bought were loaded with salt. I guess it would be okay if I had just done a bunch of exercise and needed to replace some sweat.

Aussie Burgers: [Recipe]

A whole lot of burger!

What I liked most about this dish:

I enjoyed trying something different on top of my burger for a change. Most interesting was the pineapple. I loved the fresh juicy fruit. The pickled beetroot slices were pretty good too. I liked the bacon, cheese, and egg the most.

My favorite part of the Aussie Burgers was watching egg run down everyone’s burger onto their hands. Oh, and I got a friend to read the recipe, telling everyone how to assemble their burger.

What I liked least about this dish:

Personally, I would prefer to eat just a few select toppings. I felt like I was eating a big buffet in each bite. However, the unusual variety of toppings made burger assembly fun for our guests.

Damper: [Recipe]

Bake damper a few hours ahead and warm up in the oven when your guests arrive.

What I liked most about this dish:

Damper is dense and surprisingly biscuit-like (considering there is no butter in the recipe). The bread gets huge points for simplicity and was a big hit with some of our carb crazy friends. I liked it and would make it again for a quick breakfast treat.

What I liked least about this dish:

The original recipe was too salty for me, so I adjusted the recipe. The recipe I published should work fine.

Ava’s Corner:

Ava got to try kangaroo this weekend. I gave her the littlest piece and she kept sticking out her tongue, trying to shake the eat meat off. It was too funny. After offering it to her for the third time, with the same results, I gave up and served her some of her regular food… homemade puree of chicken, broccoli, and corn.

Pot Luck Extras:

This barbecue made me a pot luck junkie. I loved trying everyone’s food. I loved not having to make everything or spend an entire paycheck on one meal. I also loved how much more fun potlucks are for the guests! They all had something to talk about (how did you make this? Was it hard? I’d love a copy of the recipe… etc) and you could tell they were proud that they had gone Global Table style and made some genuine Aussie food.

There were tons of dishes and I was not able to get pictures of everything… but here are a few highlights:

Lamingtons

Lamingtons are cake covered in chocolate and coconut

Golden cake inside Lamingtons!

Pavlova

Crunchy meringue on the outside, soft as marshmallow on the inside. Pavlova is sweet and tasty.

Bacon-wrapped Potatoes

Bacon-wrapped potatoes can also be made ahead and reheated for serving.

Deviled Eggs

Some Australians like their deviled eggs with relish in them.

As you can see, we ate like kings and queens this weekend! I’d like to thank EVERYONE who made something. I loved all the food, great work!


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35 Responses

  1. I enjoyed the potluck. I would do that again.

    The burgers were interesting. The egg was not bad (a bit messy) very tall. I missed out on the bacon and the pineapple and I plan to try that on a burger sometime.

    I thought the kangaroo tasted like grilled wild duck. it was very good and I think wrapped in bacon it would have been off the charts. But at $20 a pound it was just fine.

    I made the Pavlova. It only took me two tries which was amazing in itself. Next time I will make individual servings instead of the cake. The cake is too delicate and I don’t have the soft touch it takes to work with it. I learned a lot in making this desert.

    Castor sugar is regular sugar you put in a blender and do a few pulses to make it finer. Get it too fine and it becomes powdered sugar. When I saw the price of the ultra fine sugar I made my own, lol.

    I made my own whipped cream too – I don’t like whipped cream so this was my first attempt. I like the home made better than boughten.

    I also made the deviled eggs. I don’t care for them with relish in them. But others seemed to like them as they didn’t last long. I think they might have been better with dill pickle relish.

    • I’ll have to try making the Pavlova Collette, Keith eyes got all big when he realized how good it was… unfortunately, he’d already eaten too much other stuff… I’m thinking birthday cake replacement! :)

  2. Deviled eggs. Wow. I love these things. Why don’t you tell us a bit more about the food. I’m hungry right this minute and have now will make Deviled eggs again this summer. Would be nice to enjoy them in Australia. I was only there just the once.
    thanks,
    twitter.com/Geotravel

    • I spend about a week on each country – check back a few posts and you’ll see I did a little more discussion on the food… :) Also, the recipes have more photos and some description as well.

      I, too, would love to eat deviled eggs in Australia!

  3. I wanna to try the menu. I am Indonesian….

  4. What a brilliant idea for a dinner party. :-) Coming from Australia, all the food you made looks spot on- really authentic… except perhaps the bratwurst (german I believe, but tasty none the less!).
    Really looking forward to following your next global travel.

    • Thanks! I’m glad my research paid off.

      That’s so funny about the bratwurst – when I watched Anthony Burdain’s Australia episode of “No Reservations” (you can check it out on YouTube), he made a big deal out of eating brats… and said how they are really popular lol.

  5. Just a note, but Australia does not really have any distinct culinary dishes. Everything was taken from somewhere else, or has been falsely attributed to us like the Pavlova.

    It is very rare to find any Australians who eat Kangaroo, and in most supermarkets it is next to the pet food and out of the way. The only Australian dish I actually know of is Damper, made by the aborigines.

    • Hi Josh!

      Thanks for your input! :) No distinct dishes – this reminds me of the USA – a true melting pot! I wrote a little bit about this earlier in the week… if you go back a few posts.

      I had heard kangaroo wasn’t a big hitter (kind of like deer here in the United States – a select audience for sure) but I still wanted to try it. I was pleasantly surprised and would eat it again, if it was maybe a little less expensive.

      The damper was good! :)

      • I live in Australia and eat kangaroo regularly! It is one of the cheapest meats here (due to the culling of the kangaroos) and is one of the leanest!

        As for brats; I’ve never tried them! I was excited to see lamingtons made the list; they’re my favourite.

        I noticed vegemite didn’t make the cut. Though not a ‘recipe’, it’d be interesting to hear your reaction. Personally, I love it and eat it every day but I hear most Americans are too afraid to try it!

        Keep up the good work!

        • Hi Bec! Vegemite sounds interesting…I just read that it is made of brewer’s yeast extract… so I’d probably like it. When I was growing up my mom put brewer’s yeast on our popcorn… yum!! :)

    • Hi. I am an Aussie, and just have to let you know that the Aboriginal People did not make damper, as they did not have flour. Damper was made by the English Settlers who came to Australia in 1788. Also, lots of Australians eat kangaroo regularly, it is no longer kept next to the pet food and out of the way and many top quality restaurants feature it on their menus.

  6. The pics look mouthwatering! Is it Austria next? I have had the BEST goulash in the world in Vienna, and you cannot beat the original Sacher torte of course… even though I think the recipe to that one is a secret…. ??

  7. What a fun experiment (commitment)!

  8. I was looking for a ” forward to a friend” place. My daughter has a gluten free website. She would enjoy this.

  9. I think the Bratwurst may have been Austrian. Haha.

  10. The party was great Sasha, we really had a good time! I loved the kangaroo, but I thought it tasted more like venison…it definately had a red meat texture. The damper bread was excellent and Jason’s biscuits were awesome. Thanks for a great Saturday afternoon!

  11. sounds like a complete great time all around…yay!

  12. I like that Bacon-wrapped potatoes!

  13. Being an Australian, this looks extremely authentic!!
    I love Kangaroo meat, it has basically no fat so is a fantastic low-fat option instead of normal steak.
    Sucks that it’s so expensive for you over there, would you like me to post you some??

  14. Making the Lamingtons was so much fun! And taste so good! Next time we make these I think I’ll try using a filling! Sasha, we had a great time, fun and great food!

  15. Another Aussie here. I love that you had lamingtons on the menu! Sometimes here they have a thin layer of strawberry jam in the middle (ie cut the cube in half, spread some jam, stick them back together and cover as per normal). As for the kanagaroo meat, I’ve only ever bought it as pet food…

    My question is, did you wash that meal down with some Australian beer? ;)

  16. hi, nice to meet u

  17. I had a Pavlovian response to the picture of the Pavlova.

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