This week’s Chef Inspired Taco is one that draws on the idea of exploration. Exploration and the inevitable result of discovering something new. Chef has been inspired by some of his own adventures in the world of culinary exploration and the ingredients he has come across. Whether the ingredients come from within the typical 100 mile radius he usually subscribes to, the influences from his worldly travels, researching his ever growing library of culinary influences, or a combination of all of the above
. After the great response to the Camel Taco chef featured a couple months ago, he asked himself what else would the Michiana area diners trust and follow his lead? The next two weeks, he has decided to introduce a product that promises push the mental and physical palates of the Taco Tuesday Chef Inspired Taco enthusiasts. Although it may challenge any preconceived ideas, chef is sure those who follow his lead will not be misguided or disappointed. This week, the Chef Inspired Taco features Kangaroo meat in the cleanest and purest form in his Kangaroo Tartare Taco.
Kangaroo, being wild harvested from their natural environment are one of the most sustainable sources of protein we currently have roaming the worlds land masses. In a recent census, the Australian game department estimated the population density of kangaroos, in their expansive wild habitat, was calculated at 45 kangaroos per square kilometer. This study assured the chefs of Australia and the world of the already widely accepted understanding, kangaroos are in a very large and naturally sustained abundance. One way the kangaroo meat is sustainable is that, unlike most other animal protein sources, the male kangaroo remains extremely tender and lean. This means, unlike most other animal proteins, the females of the species are allowed to continue producing unharmed or without any stresses that are normally present in large scale industrial farming processes of animal protein destined for human consumption. Because the kangaroos are harvested in their natural environment, they also consume a natural diet, not one that is boosted with additives that are normally present in the large scale production and farming. For these reasons, chef has sourced the kangaroo meat for this week’s Chef Inspired Taco from a small scale, high quality source in their native Australia.
Kangaroo meat, being naturally lean and extremely tender, lends itself beautifully to a raw or rare preparation. The fresh and clean flavors of a traditional tartare is the perfect way to highlight the beautiful subtle flavors naturally present in kangaroo meat. Not only does the flavors pair well with the kangaroo meat, but also the refreshing crisp cool temperature at which tartare is served is perfect on a beautifully warm sunny day.
The crisp, clean taste and texture of the kangaroo meat is complimented perfectly with the classic addition of fresh minced shallot, the briny explosion of capers, and the beautifully rich and acidic flavors of a lemon and dijon vinaigrette. This tartare is wonderful on its own, however chef took it one further and topped the taco with a fresh and peppery arugula slaw and the classic rich butter texture and flavors of roasted pine nuts. To finish this flavor packed taco, chef has fused the flour tortilla to the crunchy heirloom corn tortilla with the house made truffle aioli to complete the classic ECB taco presentation.