Tuesday, March 04, 2008

How To Eat Australian

Finally had the only Aussie marsupial to have evaded me so far: possums.

Most restaurants in Australia don't serve possums, partly because they love possums like they love koalas. But unlike koalas, possums are not protected animals. Which is why you might just come across a restaurant that serves possums, if you're lucky. Which is what happened last night, at Tukka's here in Brisbane...

Well, here's how you make the Baked Possum and Sweet Potatoes dish that I had:

2 young possums, 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 lbs each, dressed weight
1 baking potatoes, 1/2 lb
7 cups cold water
2 lbs sweet potatoes or yams
4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup cold water
2 cups possum broth

Clean possum carefully and remove scent glands and any clinging hair.

Pare potato, wash and cut in quarters lengthwise; lay potato inside possum.

Fit into a 5 qt kettle. Add water, cover kettle but leave open space on one side for steam to escape. Heat to boiling and boil gently 15-20 minutes; then skim froth that collects; pour off about half the broth.

Add 3 cups fresh hot water, return to heat, again partially cover and boil gently until meat is tender, but not tender enough to pull away from the bone. Remember possums will not become more tender after they are placed in a roasting pan.
Sprinkle outside well with the seasonings that have been well mixed in a coup.

Make gravy by sprinkling flour over cold water, mix to a smooth paste, then blend with 3 coups of broth drained from kettle in which possums were parboiled. Mix and pour around possum.

Arrange pared, washed sweet potatoes around possum. Cover pan and bake until possums and potatoes are about tender. Now uncover and bake until possums and potatoes are tender and beautifully browned or from 35-40 minutes.

Baste every 10 minutes with the gravy in the pan.

Remove meat and potatoes to platter and garnish with parsley.

Pour gravy into separate dish and serve meat and gravy piping hot.

Makes 5 to 6 servings...

NOTE: We don't have possums in India, so these directions are for anyone who might to cook a bandicoot or a big field rat at home.