Bushie’s pie aka kangaroo surprise


  • 4 bacon rashers (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1kg kangaroo mince
  • 3 onions (peeled and chopped)
  • 3 sticks celery (washed and chopped into small dice)
  • 3 carrots (washed and chopped into small dice)
  • 2 tablespoons mixed herbs
  • 3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish cream (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • 4kg large washed potatoes
  • butter or oil, for greasing


This is of course an Australian version of a shepherd's pie, and it's much less risky than waltzing with a jumbuck. As kangaroo is so lean, it was often cooked up with a nugget of fatty bacon or salt pork. You can be creative with the flavourings, as with most bush dishes it would have been made with whatever was at hand in the pantry or 'tuckerbox', hence the 'surprise'.


Fry bacon pieces in oil, add kangaroo mince, breaking it up as it browns. Once meat has browned and any juices have reduced, add chopped onion, celery and carrot and mix through, stirring until the vegetables begin to soften. Add herbs, sauces and salt and pepper to taste (the Worcestershire is already salty) and 2 cups of water, then allow to simmer until vegetables have cooked through (about 20 minutes). Add extra water if mixture becomes too dry.
Transfer meat mixture to a baking pan or pie dish. Wash potatoes and slice into thin rounds. Layer the potato slices over the mince, overlapping each other to completely cover the meat. Brush a length of aluminium foil with butter or oil and place over the dish, sealing it well around the sides. Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until potato slices are cooked. Remove foil and place dish under a hot grill for ten minutes or until potato starts to brown.
Serve with crusty bread or damper.

Have you tried this recipe?

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