5 Steps on How to Butcher a Kangaroo: Complete Meat Guide

Kangaroo meat is a lean protein source rich in nutrients. Learn about different cuts and how to cook them to enjoy the unique flavors and benefits.

Kangaroo Cuts

Kangaroo meat is lean meat that is great source of protein, iron, zinc, and B vitamins. This post will overview the different kangaroo cuts of meat and how to cook them for maximum flavor and enjoyment.

Kangaroos have only been harvested for meat since 1993 (except for Aboriginal hunting & use), so the industry and traditions around kangaroo meat are still relatively young.

In fact, until very recently, it was more likely to be used for pet food than human consumption. But the kangaroo meat industry is changing – so you are more likely to see a kangaroo steak in your store.

Here are the primary kangaroo cuts based on the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia and the Ultimate Companion To Meat by Anthony Puharich and Libby Travers (which has excellent guides to cuts including squab / pigeon).

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Common Wild Kangaroo Cuts

Kangaroo Steak 5 Steps on How to Butcher a Kangaroo: Complete Meat Guide
Homemade kangaroo steak using baroque sauce

Here are the most commonly referred to kangaroo meat cuts.

Striploin

This cut is known as the “prime filet” of kangaroo meat, even though that is a stretch for kangaroo meat in general. It’s pretty sinewy, low fat content meat without much marbling. It is an athletic jumper rather than a lazy grazer. If you are looking for something to throw on the grill, this is the cut.

Leg

The leg or rump cut of the kangaroo is tougher, gamier meat that is best cooked slowly over low heat. It can be used in stews, curries, or slow-cooked roasts. As with all kangaroo cuts, it is best to avoid overcooking, as this will make the meat tough and dry. You’ll get the full flavor of the kangaroo with this cut.

Shanks

Kangaroo shanks are a great option for those who want to try kangaroo meat for the first time. They are a cut of meat from the leg of the kangaroo and are usually quite tender. They can be cooked in a variety of ways, such as roasting, grilling, or braising.

Tail

The tail of the kangaroo is a delicious and succulent cut of meat that is often overlooked. It can be cooked in several ways, including grilling, barbecuing, smoking, or roasting. The tail is best when slow-cooked, and it can be used in a variety of dishes, such as stews and soups.

The tail gets almost more work than the legs of the kangaroo. It has lots of sinews, collagen, and bone that work well with slower cooking.

Wallaby

Wallabies are not kangaroos, but they are very similar in makeup and meat. Even though their anatomy is that of a small kangaroo, they are so small that they are usually cooked quickly altogether.

Common Butchered Kangaroo Cuts

Now, the Kangaroo industry is rapidly maturing and developing best practices based on consumer tastes. Like the ostrich, bison, and emu meat industries, even though the animals are “wild” – they are farmed and managed in such a way to get consistent, quality meat. The meat science of kangaroo has developed a range of cuts that you are likely to see in the grocery store. Here are those cuts as defined by the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia.

Knuckle

The knuckle is good for –

  • Roasting
  • Braising
  • Stewing
  • Poaching
  • Processing (to patties, etc)
  • Smoking

Leg Rolled

The Leg Rolled is good for –

  • Roasting
  • Braising

Loin Fillet

The Loin Fillet is good for –

  • Short-fry
  • Roasting
  • Braising
  • Smoking
  • Stir-fry
  • Marinade

Long Fillet

The Long Fillet is good for –

  • Short-fry
  • Roasting
  • Stewing
  • Poaching
  • Smoking
  • Stir-fry
  • Marinade

Rack Frenched

The Rack Frenched is good for –

  • Roasting

Rib Eye Fillet

The Rib Eye Fillet is good for –

  • Braising
  • Stewing
  • Stir-fry
  • Marinade

Rump

The Rump is good for –

  • Short-fry
  • Roasting
  • Braising
  • Stewing
  • Processing (to patties, etc)
  • Smoking
  • Stir-fry
  • Marinade

Saddle Bone-in

The Saddle Bone-in is good for –

  • Roasting

Shank Bone-in

The Shank Bone-in is good for –

  • Braising
  • Stewing
  • Poaching

Shoulder Roll

The Shoulder Roll is good for –

  • Roasting
  • Braising

Silverside

The Silverside is good for –

  • Stewing
  • Poaching
  • Processing (to patties, etc)
  • Smoking

Striploin

The Striploin is good for –

  • Short-fry
  • Stir-fry
  • Marinade

Tail

The Tail is good for –

  • Braising
  • Stewing

Tenderloin Fillet

The Tenderloin Fillet is good for –

  • Braising
  • Stewing
  • Processing (to patties, etc)
  • Marinade

Topside

The Topside is good for –

  • Short-fry
  • Roasting
  • Braising
  • Stewing
  • Poaching
  • Processing (to patties, etc)
  • Smoking
  • Stir-fry
  • Marinade

Kangaroo Meat Cuts Conclusion

With so many cuts of meat available, it’s easy to see that the kangaroo industry is rapidly maturing and developing best practices based on consumer tastes. So if you prefer a certain cut for a certain cooking method, your best bet would be to look for those specific cuts at your grocery store or butcher shop. And if you don’t see the cut you’re looking for, be sure to ask your local butcher or grocer.

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