• Kangaroo tonnato (Ben Ward)Source: Ben Ward

This dish is a hybrid of two classic dishes: tartare and vitello tonnato (cold sliced veal in a creamy sauce of tuna and capers). The combination of classic Italian flavours with native Australian ingredients gives this tonnato a fresh, vibrant appeal.




Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 1 tbsp finger lime pearls
  • 1 tsp very finely grated fresh horseradish
  • 2 bunches of mixed radishes (look for different sizes and colours including red, purple and white), very thinly sliced using a mandolin
  • 1 small bunch radish flowers, picked

Kangaroo tonnato

  • 300 g raw kangaroo loin
  • 2 tbsp good quality salted capers
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 30 ml smoked olive oil
  • 30 ml macadamia oil

Garrum-glazed piadina

  • 250 g plain flour
  • 4 g salt
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 45 g lard or bone marrow (see note)
  • 125 ml (½ cup) milk, at room temperature
  • 2 sprigs each of rosemary, thyme, sage
  • 30 ml garum (fish sauce)
  • 1 garlic clove, bruised

Tonnato dressing

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 250 ml (1 cup) pure olive oil
  • 250 g tuna preserved in oil, drained, oil reserved
  • 15 g anchovies
  • 15 g capers in vinegar, strained
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • Juice of ½ lemon, or to taste
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pickled onions

  • 2 baby onions or eschalots
  • 50 ml good quality aged white wine vinegar

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. For the kangaroo tonnato, wrap the kangaroo meat tightly in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. This will make it a lot easier to cut. When semi-frozen, remove from the freezer and use a very sharp knife to cut into a 5 mm dice (see note). Place the meat in small bowl, cover and return to the refrigerator to defrost slowly.

2. Meanwhile, for the garum-glazed piadina, combine the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle, add the lard and mix with a fork, then slowly add the milk and mix until almost combined. Transfer to a work surface and knead into a smooth ball. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic and rest 20 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 balls, sprinkle a wooden board or flat surface with a little flour and place balls on top, cover with a tea towel and rest for another 20 minutes.

3. For the tonnato dressing, place the egg yolks and mustard in a bowl and whisk to combine well. Whisking continuously, gradually add the oil, drop by drop by at first and then in a slow steady stream until well combined. Set aside. Place the tuna, anchovies, capers and vinegar in a blender and process until a paste forms. Add the mayonnaise and blend until smooth. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a small container and refrigerate until ready to serve.

4. For the pickled onions, thinly slice the onions and place in a bowl with the vinegar. Toss to coat well and stand for at least 5 minutes. This can be done the day before and left to marinate. Drain before serving.

5. To cook the piadina, preheat a chargrill to medium. Make a little brush with the rosemary, thyme and sage and tie with a rubber band or string. In a small bowl, mix together the reserved oil from the tuna, the garum and crushed garlic clove. Roll out each ball to about 13-15 cm diameter rounds and prick all over with a fork. Place the flat breads on the grill and when starting to turn golden brown, flip them over. Using your herb brush dipped in the garum oil, liberally brush the cooked side, then flip the breads and liberally brush the other side. Repeat once more to ensure even cooking and lots of flavour from the glaze.

6. While the piadina are cooking, place the kangaroo in a bowl with the capers, chives and oils. Stir to combine and season to taste.

7. To assemble, spread a layer of tonnato dressing in the centre of each plate. Top with the kangaroo, then a few pieces of pickled onion and some finger lime pearls. Arrange the radish over the top to cover, then scatter with the horseradish and flowers. Serve immediately with the warm piadina on the side.


• Using a blunt knife or cutting the meat messy will alter the texture of the meat, which alters the success of the end result. Also remember to wear gloves and use a clean chopping board when handling meat you are serving raw.

• For the lard or bone marrow, I use kangaroo and beef marrow and roast beef lard.


Palisa Anderson and guests explore food memories and cross-cultural connection during Palisa Anderson's Water Heart Food.