Are New Yorkers ready to jump in to this new trend?
Burke & Wills (226 W. 79th St.), an Australian bistro on the Upper West Side, plans to debut Roo Pies on its lunch menu.
And yes, that’s short for kangaroo.
Roo pies, made with kangaroo meat in a gravy-style sauce and baked into a flaky pastry shell, are typically found in Australia.
Burke & Wills’ kangaroo meat is sourced from Fossil Farms in Australia, where kangaroos are a native species. Kangaroo meat is not farmed, but rather harvested from its natural habitat. The Australian government has quotas in place to determine the percentage of each species that can be harvested per year at different locations.
While sustainability may be a deciding factor for those considering expanding their carnivorous repertoire, health may also play a role in a diner’s decision to feast on kangaroo.
“Kangaroo is considered one of the healthier options for red meat, it is extremely lean, high protein, with only about 2% fat,” said Rodrigo Nogueira, chef at Burke & Wills.
“The meat has a mild gamy taste and has a sweetness to it. If I had to compare kangaroo meat to other animals, I would have to say venison would be the closest.”
Neither kangaroo nor venison is a stranger to New Yorkers’ palates.
The Thirsty Koala (35-12 Ditmars Blvd.) in Astoria serves up kangaroo burgers and sliders, and The Australian (20 W. 38th St.) in midtown features grilled kangaroo skewers and pan-seared kangaroo loin on its menu.
Venison has risen in popularity at New York’s fine-dining hot spots in the past year, and is a key dish at the Michelin-starred Musket Room (265 Elizabeth St.).
For a safe introduction to the taste of kangaroo, a Roo Pie, dipped in ketchup, may be your best bet.
Made with ground kangaroo, ground pork, harissa, caramelized onions and fresh herbs, a bite into the flaky crust can easily take you down under.
Grab all your mates, roo pies will only be available during Burke & Wills’ recently launched lunch, which runs weekdays from noon to 3 p.m.