Young and Hungry

Are You Gonna Eat That? Wagshal’s Kangaroo Steaks


Unless you’re Teddy Roosevelt, you may not have exotic meats readily stocked in the icebox. But if you’re ever so inclined, a trip to Wagshal’s would satisfy the urge for something with more flair than day-old meatloaf.

“A lot of people want to try something they’ve never had before,” says Wagshal’s Pamela “Pam the Butcher” Ginsberg, enough that she sells 100 to 150 pounds of wild boar, rattlesnake, alligator, ostrich, python and kangaroo per month to satisfy the masses.

Take the dark, rosy-hued loins of the kangaroo, which is the Deer from Down Under: wild, gamey, and enjoyed by Aborigines for millennia. Except for the endangered Tasmanian forester kangaroo, most kangaroos are overpopulated and considered a pest to farm crops. Kangaroo meat is low in fat, high in protein and vitamin B, and an environmentally friendly alternative to beef or lamb.  It’s even spawned “kangatarians” in Australia (who are like pescatarians, but with powerful leg muscles). They’ll adhere to a diet of only kangaroo meat and vegetables. Since ’roos are so lean, care must be taken not to dry the meat out. “Cooking these types of meats, you have to go back to the way primitive man would have done it,” says Wagshal’s owner Bill Fuchs. “Over a fire at a very high heat.”

I brined kangaroo loins to make the meat extra juicy, then threw them on the barbie for a hot second before finishing them in the oven.  I used whole rosemary sprigs as skewers for extra-fragrant shrimp to make a Down Under surf-n-turf. Paul Hogan would approve.


1 quart warm water

1/8 cup kosher salt

1/8 cup sugar

3 kangaroo loins

1 dozen large shrimp

1 bunch fresh rosemary sprigs

3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1/4 cup olive oil


1 quart warm water

1/8 cup kosher salt

1/8 cup sugar

Handful of ice cubes

Combine water, kosher salt, and sugar in a large bowl until completely dissolved. Add ice cubes. Place the loins into brine, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Peel and devein shrimp, then combine with one crushed rosemary sprig, garlic, and olive oil in a bowl while loins are brining. Using whole rosemary sprigs, pierce four shrimp to a skewer and set aside.

Remove loins and discard brine. Heat grill or oven-proof grill pan on the stove on high. Coat the pan with oil. Sear loins for one minute on each side, turning 90 degrees to create cross-hatch grill marks. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and place pan in the center of the oven. Roast for 15 minutes or until internal temperature is 120 degrees. Plate each loin, top with a skewer of shrimp, and serve.

  • ron525i

    Um, how did it come out?

  • Mary Kong-DeVito

    If you like venison, you'd love kangaroo. More gamey than beef but good.

  • knackers

    They'd have to be prawns, love, for a dinky di Aussie surf & turf... Seriously, though, roo is a great meat - I'm glad to hear it's available now in DC. Although very lean, ground roo also makes excellent burgers. Just don't cook em long. If you can find some ostrich too, then serve them together to eat the Australian coat of arms.

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  • Robert Whale

    Well done knackers. I have long enjoyed informing my American chums that we serve our national coat of arms on a plate, usually with sauce and chips. They are usually horrified!

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  • Stacia Roesler

    Kangaroo is DELICIOUS. It is more strongly flavored than beef, and sweeter---a lot like if you coated buffalo meat with a little sugar. MUST be done rare, because it is so lean.

  • Stacia Roesler

    WHERE CAN ONE BUY KANGAROO NOW? Let's Meat on the Ave isn't carrying it any longer---says their distrib stopped offering it. Any other places to get it locally, and reasonably priced? Fossil farms carries it online, but the shipping alone is about $40.