May 01

Camel Meat

Whether your camel dish is a success really depends on the state of the camel when it entered the abattoir. Stressed camels tend to result in tough meat that has an inferior taste. The very best camel comes from a relaxed beast.

As many beasts are shot from the air during culling, it is wisest to use a reputable meat trader to ensure quality meats.

Though camel meat can be cooked in almost any method in which you would cook lamb, (and it is a similar taste), the very best method is roasting.

Camel, like kangaroo, is a low fat meat, low in cholesterol and high in protein making it an ideal meat for those with dietary problems such as diabetes and high cholesterol.

Camel is a popular meat in some cultures and fast becoming an accepted meat in Western cultures also.

Australia has the only feral population of camels and a camel meat industry is developing.

The older camel meat will require a tenderising marinade for several hours before cooking but on the whole it is the younger meat that is sold.

Use a weight for time based method, of half an hour per pound(500g) of meat, as a guide for cooking time.

In a deep roasting pan, or double pan if available, place approximately an inch (15cms) of water. Add the Camel meat roast. A sprinkle of curry powder is a good touch if the meat is not already marinated. Cover the meat with aluminium foil which will be removed in the last half hour of cooking.

By roasting in the water rather than oil, the meat will remain tender rather than drying out to which it is prone. The addition of a few peeled onions to the water will enhance the overall flavour.

Camel is often prepared as a stew. The small chopped pieces of meat tossed on plain flour before being added to a vegetable stock. With the addition of chosen vegetables and diced onion, ground black pepper and salt, and slow cooking, the stew produces a succulent melt in the mouth meal.

Camel can also be minced and used as burger meat. Once again we add chopped onion, choice of herbs, dash of curry powder, egg and breadcrumbs. Mix and cook exactly as you would with any hamburger mince. Diced bacon is an optional extra which may be added to main mix.

The camel neck is ideal for soups. It is very meaty and in a good vegetable stock will come away from the bone nicely. Diced root vegetables and onion with the addition of crushed tomatoes will make a hearty meal for a cold winters day. Enjoy!