Char Grilled Wallaby and Elderberry Jelly.
The recipe in this post was inspired by the invitation to contribute to a book about food from different islands. A Taste of Islands is currently being produced by Anna and Godfrey Baldacchino from Prince Edward Island, Canada and will hopefully be available this Christmas.
Brunyfire’s contribution was based primarily on the produce of Bruny – namely the wallaby….……..provided by Richard Clarke of Bruny Island Game Meats which is based at Richard’s 120ha Eden Home farm at Great Bay on Bruny. He and his shooters hunt two or three nights a week and aim to fill the facility’s racks with about 60 wallaby carcasses. Given the combined Tasmanian population of Rufous and Bennetts wallabies is between seven and 10 million (with a fair proportion on Bruny Island), this quota is accomplished fairly easily, particularly when there is a lot of grass around in spring and early summer.Rich feeding grounds produces lean, but marbled meat. The carcasses are boned out on the hook, skills honed by years of hunting with his father-in-law. He inspects each carcass carefully examining the pluck (liver, kidneys, heart and lungs) for signs of discolouration or blotched appearance.
The yield of premium flesh per Bennetts or rufous wallaby carcass is fairly small. The inside leg (topside fillet), the backstraps (porterhouse) and the shanks typically weigh in at three kilograms. The off-cuts, including the ribcage and tails, go to the pet meat trade.
- – 500 gms filleted Wallaby steaks
- – 2 teaspoons dried Tasmanian Pepperberries (ground)
- – 2 teaspoons dried Tasmanian Lemon Myrtle leaves (ground)
- – Olive oil
- 1. Brush fillet steaks with olive oil, and coat with ground Pepperberries and Lemon Myrtle leaves.
- 2. Start a fire in a cast iron hibachi, using a good supply of split hardwood kindling (such as Tasmanian Blue Gum). Make sure the fire has died down to a bed of hot coals, and the steel grill is hot.
- 3. Place wallaby fillets on the grill. Sear both sides of the wallaby steak for a couple of minutes on each side.
- 4. Remove from the heat, and keep in warm place for 5 minutes to rest.
- 5. Slice the meat at right angles to the grain of the meat.
- 6. Boil parsnip till tender and mash with cream in blender and serve with steamed asparagus and elderberry jelly.
Spring time around Hobart, and the elderflowers are evident everywhere……..
To every 500g of berries add 150ml of water, the juice of 2 lemons and 500g of sugar. Boil for about 30-45 minutes or until it sets when tested. Strain jelly mix through calico cloth, and pour into sterilized jars, and seal.
Tasmania’s native ‘pepper’, sometimes referred to as Mountain Pepper, are hand-harvested between March and May. They are a succulent, hot berry with a crunchy seed cluster at their center. When eaten alone, the berries have a sweet taste at the beginning, followed by short-lasting intense heat. The berries then deliver a strange sensation of numbness, similar to Szechwan peppercorns.