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Bob Hart’s recipe for Wallaby Pastrami

Peter 'Grubby' Stubbs
Article image for Bob Hart’s recipe for Wallaby Pastrami


Some meat is just too good not to be eaten whenever possible. And when I tell you I include wallaby pastrami in that category, you may assume I have a ‘roo loose in the top paddock, so to speak.

But why? Wallaby is wonderful meat – delicate, lean and delicious. And plentiful, of course. And easy enough find, or even to harvest, if you are into that sort of thing. Which I am.King Island, one of the more delicious corners of our great nation, is a brilliant source of wallaby meat. Ask around, check on-line, and I suspect you will find it without too much difficulty.

And when you do, my recommendation would be to start with a sturdy (boned) leg which is likely to weigh in at around the 2kg mark, or a shade over.

To do justice to one of these, make up a litre of cure by putting that quantity of cold water into a large, resealable plastic bag and adding 1 cup of Maldon sea salt and half a cup of raw sugar – ideally the Dulce sugar from Costa Rica which is
widely available, and quite excellent.

Two days will pretty much do the job, but a third won’t hurt. But either way, rinse the joint in cold water and dry thoroughly. Then, sprinkle a generous quantity of my all-purpose barbecue rub, featured in all of my books, over it and rest it while
you fire up a smoker – a Weber Smokey Mountain, perhaps, or a Pit Barrel Cooker – with pecan or hickory. Either if these modestly-priced but ingenious little smokers will introduce you painlessly to the wonderful world of home smoking. Starting with a native delicacy.

The wallaby will be smoked to flavoursome perfection in something over 2 hours, and no intervention is required because of the moisture generated in the WSM. But if spraying a favourite beer from an atomiser lifts your spirits, it will do no
harm. So be my guest.

The important thing, however, is to rest the meat for at least 20 minutes to allow it to collect its thoughts before slicing it – thinly or thickly, your call – and serving it on slabs of rye bread with lashings of Dijon mustard, and maybe a few pickles on
the side.

While singing our National Anthem, naturally…

King Island wallaby is available from King Island Prime Meats and can be delivered to Melbourne for very good prices. Contact Tammy on 0455 222 037.

Peter 'Grubby' Stubbs