Sky Full of Bacon

When I ordered turtle for my Southern party from, I had to order some other stuff to fill out my minimum order.  So my freezer has been home to, for the last few months, antelope and kangaroo sausages, and yak burgers.

The evening never having come when the kids said, “Can we eat kangaroo tonight?”, a friend planned a sausage-oriented grilling party and that seemed the perfect time to throw a kangaroo on the barbie.  But what, exactly, do you put on an antelope or kangaroo dog?  A few years ago the answer might have just been German brown mustard all around, but now, Hot Doug having raised the bar for exotic sausage condiments, I knew I had to come up with something that raised these sausages to a Dougian level of creativity and elegance.

First I checked the site for some guidance as to what the meats tasted like.  It was of limited help; “it tastes like venison” is apparently the new “it tastes like chicken,” except who actually has done that much cooking with venison?  My one previous experience with kangaroo involved slices which were rather like venison or elk, which is to say like steak but a little gamier, so I figured a fruit-based topping couldn’t go too wrong.  I made a blueberry compote with a little port and shallots in it, then mixed that with dijon mustard and added white wine vinegar till it seemed both fruity and possessed of some bite.  Since Doug likes to use a goat cheese with bits of black truffle in it, I topped it with that as well.

Antelope I felt less confident about, having never tasted it.  But I did have one bit of guidance— several people at LTHForum had posted about Michael Carlson at Schwa using white chocolate with antelope. I wanted this to have a distinctly different flavor that the other, no fruit aspect, so starting with chocolate I went in a mole direction, making an ancho chile fromage blanc, then grating the white chocolate over the result.

In each case I cut the dogs into four pieces so as many as possible could try them. How were they?  I’d say I did pretty well on flavor combinations, for guesses in the dark.  The kangaroo was, again, a very slightly gamey beef-venison taste, and the blueberry mustard complemented it well.

The white chocolate-ancho combination got a “hmmm… not sure” reaction at first, but I think the sweetness and the bit of spice worked very well with the mild meat (which didn’t especially have a strong profile, certainly didn’t scream game).

All in all, I was very pleased not only with the chance it gave me to go around saying “Antelope dog, anyone?” but with the taste of the results.

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