Kangaroo ankles aka kankles

Kangaroo ankles aka kankles

A Year of Practiculture
Rohan Anderson & Kate Berry

When I cook shanks, my kids ask me, ‘What’s that we can smell cooking?’ For years I’d reply with ‘Shanks’, and I’d always get a blank look in return. So I started pointing to my ankles. This seemed to get the message across. The kids would then bugger off to whatever it was they were doing, and I’d return to my earthly role as chief food-delivery service for my offspring. I’m sure most countries would have some animal with a few ankles worthy of cooking. In lieu of kangaroo you could use lamb, deer, goat and even wallaby – feel free to experiment. The beaut thing with ankles (shanks) is that all mammals share the same basic anatomy. These are muscles that work hard for the animal, so they need to be cooked slow and low. They also have a few gelatinous bits, which makes them super-delicious.

If you’re going to use this recipe as a suggestion only and you’re not using roo meat (especially if you live in Wyoming and don’t have kangaroos hopping around), I suggest you use the base spice that works well with that meat. Cloves or juniper berries work well with venison, rosemary and thyme work well with lamb, etc. I like to use cumin. It’s great with kangaroo and goat. Hell, it’s good with almost anything.


Quantity Ingredient
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
50g lard
5 onions, sliced
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 kangaroo ankles, (or ankles from other wild meat)
500ml red wine
herbed roast potato wedges, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. In a large flameproof casserole dish, heat a generous glug of olive oil with the lard over low heat on the stove top. Gently cook the onion and garlic with the cumin seeds for 10 minutes, or until they colour.
  3. Add the meat and brown on all sides. Add the wine and 500 ml water, put the lid on and cook in the oven for 40 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat down to 150°C and cook for 5 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
  5. Serve the ankles with herbed roast potato wedges, and spoon over the sweet cooked onions – this is what pulls the meal together!
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