Friday’s Featured Food: Wallaby Bolognaise in Tasmania, Australia


While living in Tasmania I ended up staying for a while at Tasman Backpackers in Devonport – basically a live in, working hostel for travellers and workers on the nearby farms. Once a month we did a communal food night which meant that over 50 people that lived in the massive complex (a former hospital/nursing centre) would cook and eat together.

Each person was asked to contribute one meal or dish of their choice, so I was in. Initial thoughts were to do something Irish or Northern Irish. But that would have meant soda bread, potato bread or an Ulster Fry. On a backpackers budget I couldn’t justify making enough Ulster Fry to go round a few people – though I often cooked it for myself. So I went for something local instead…

Wallaby Mince - a packet can be bought for $3-5 AU in Tasmania, AUSTRALIA

Wallaby Mince – a packet can be bought for $3-5 AU in Tasmania, AUSTRALIA

I’m no chef, far from it (despite having worked in numerous takeaway joints and restaurants) but I had a fondness for Australian meat. Especially kangaroo. I love it. However, the local shop in Tasmania sold Wallaby mince so I decided to buy that and cook up some wallaby bolognaise. It cost $4.29 AU – this was in March 2010.

Tasmanian wallaby mince

100% minced wallaby game meat – sourced and packed in Tasmania locally

Wallaby is a delicious lean meat and wallaby mince can be used in all normal mince applications and recipes. Wallaby is also good for your health. The stuff I bought was packed locally in Tasmania and became a personal favourite while living on the remote island.

How to make wallaby bolognaise

How to make wallaby bolognaise – a quick recipe was on the back of the packet – I adapted it for backpackers budgets!

Now I had the wallaby mince, what should I make? Wallaby bolognaise of course! For that I needed apples, onions, tomato puree, spaghetti and salt and pepper. But I’m a backpacker on a budget and at the time was living out of a dirty bag and working on a farm. So it was the cheap option for me!

wallaby bolognaise in Tasmania Australia

Holding my pot of freshly cooked Wallaby Bolognaise ready for the 50 people dinner in Tasmania, AUSTRALIA.

I bought 2 tins of spaghetti, some cheap pasta sauce (tomato and herbs), some carrots, onions and apples and mixed it all in with the cooked wallaby mince. I added some pepper, salt and nutmeg (which they had in the hostel) and it was ready to go!

wallaby bolognaise tasmania australia

My wallaby bolognaise graces the table for our 50 people dinner in Tasman House, Tasman Backpackers, Tasmania, AUSTRALIA

Was it nice? Yes, myself and others loved it!! I bet a lot of people that ate it didn’t even know what it was – it was one of the first meals to be finished that night of the 50 odd that were cooked. I was happy o contribute such a fine meal. In the irony and oddness of life however, I haven’t cooked it since. My gorgeous wallaby bolognaise remains timelocked to my special travel memories of living and working in Tasmania, the land under the land down under. A lifestyle of travel brings you these everlasting memories!

big dinner at Tasman House

50 people dinner at Tasman House – including my wallaby bolognaise

Thanks to all who lived and shared the experience with me in Tasman House/Tasman Backpackers in Devonport, Tasmania. Don’t stop living!

Here’s a short video of the international food night including the wallaby bolognaise:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

CommentLuv badge