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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wheatbelt Casserole

This is my own recipe, a perfect hearty casserole for a cold day when you want something that is both easy and tasty. It brings together the tastes of the Western Australian wheatbelt and the surrounding bush (lamb and kangaroo, and wheat pasta), along with good old garden vegetables and herbs.

Of course, given that this is an international board, most of you won’t be able or inclined to cook with kangaroo meat (or, for that matter, with vegemite). Don’t worry, you can replace it with beef. But if you’re in Australia or can get hold of kangaroo where you live, I would thoroughly recommend it. It’s low in fat, low in kilojoules, high in iron and very tasty.

This much will feed two, three or four people depending on how hungry you are!


200g lean kangaroo fillet (or beef fillet), cubed
150g lean lamb fillet, cubed
2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
375mL liquid stock (broth) – I used vegetable but beef would be fine
2x ~400g (1 pound) tins diced or crushed tomatoes
1 large brown onion, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
2 tsp mixed herbs (I used one tsp each of Lamb Herbs and Italian Herbs – just use whatever you like best!)
1 tsp vegemite (optional)
1 tsp red Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

180g dry pasta (I used spirals; shells or any other medium-sized shaped pasta would be good too)


1. Preheat oven to 180 C (356 F)

2. In a large freezer bag (or sealable plastic container) place 2 tbsp cornflour, a dash each of salt and pepper, and the diced meat. Seal the bag / container and shake to coat all of the pieces of meat in the flour. Continue shaking until all flour is taken up.

3. Dry-fry the meat in a hot frypan until the flour is browned.

4. Place the meat in a casserole dish (I used a stoneware casserole with a lid – the dish must be coverable) and add all other ingredients except pasta, including salt and pepper to taste. Stir thoroughly until ingredients are spread evenly throughout.

5. Place covered casserole in the pre-heated oven and cook for one hour.

6. After one hour, remove casserole from the oven and add pasta. Stir thoroughly and return covered casserole to oven.

7. Cook for another hour, then it’s done!

Remember that this will be *very* hot when it first comes out of the oven. Don’t burn your mouth out of enthusiasm to taste it! I recommend that you dish out the casserole into bowls or plates and then let it sit out for 5 minutes before tucking in. Enjoy!

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