This dish commemorates the pivotal historical event shared by Australia and Turkey, and combines ingredients from these two great cultures. Gallipoli, in northwest Turkey, is a popular scuba-diving area, and a major source of scallops. It is best known to Australians as the site of an attempt in 1915 to secure territory in Turkey, which had joined the First World War on Germany’s side.
Australia’s major public holiday each year is 25 April, which was when the Australian and New Zealand troops (called ANZACs) took part in the ill-fated Allied assault on the Turkish peninsula. They were repelled by the Turks under General Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who went on to create the Turkish republic out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire.
When I came to live in Sydney, I was curious to see how kangaroo meat would respond to the drying and preserving process we call pastırma. It turns out that kangaroo works even better than beef, because it’s almost fat-free.
Place the kangaroo fillets on a board and, using a sharp knife, remove any sinews. Using a cake rack (or steamer tray or a large colander), cover the rack with muslin (cheesecloth) or a tea towel (dish towel). Place the rack in a baking tray or large pan. You will use this for the drying process.
Mix the rock salt and caster sugar in a bowl. Spread half the rock salt mixture onto the muslin-covered tray, about
Put the kangaroo fillets in the middle of the rack and thoroughly cover with the rest of the rock salt mixture. Fold the muslin cloth over the top of the salt. Place a flat-bottomed tray over the fillets with a
Unwrap the meat and wash off the salt. Place the meat in a bowl, cover with water and leave to rest for 24 hours.
Remove the meat from the water and pat dry with paper towel. Put the kangaroo on a rack with a drip tray underneath and refrigerate for 24 hours. Turn the fillets over and return to the fridge for one more day.
Next, make the paste. Mix the garlic,
Remove the kangaroo from the fridge and coat with the paste, making sure every part is completely covered. Put the kangaroo on the cake rack with the tray underneath, but without the muslin cloth, and return to the fridge for at least another 5 days.
When you are ready to serve, slice through the fillet, diagonally, as thinly as possible (about
Divide the scallop slices among four plates, top each with a slice of kangaroo and serve.
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