Archive for January 18th, 2010

The photo below is of a lovely meal had on Friday night, the star entree being skillfully prepared by Manfred and Susan Phemister: BEAR! I have to admit that I had some trepidation in the days before our adventure, but the meat was darkly rich and completely delicious. Thanks to the Phemister family for a great time of feast, beast and the best of conversation. What a great get-together.

When Cooking Bear Meat, Remember to Keep It Moist and Tender
By Lorelie Scorzafava

Bear meat, if cooked properly, can be every bit as tasty as beef. Those who have harvested a bear and brought it to the table can attest to this. Bear meat is actually leaner than beef, because the fat is on the outside and can be cut away. As a result, once you remove the fat, it has fewer calories and is lower in cholesterol.

But the lean meat can become tough and dry if it’s not cooked properly, due to the lack of marbling. To make sure your bear meat doesn’t dry out, it should be cooked in such a way as to preserve or add as much moisture as possible.

It’s important to remember that unlike other game meat, bear meat must be thoroughly cooked. Bear meat, like pork, may carry trichinosis.

If you remove the fat before cooking, you can tenderize and moisten bear meat by marinating in lemon juice or an oil-and-wine mixture before cooking. To imbue the bear meat with flavor and moistness, baste it often while cooking. Or, cook bear meat in a closed environment, such as a Dutch oven, roasting bag or braising liquid. Bear meat is darker and may be stronger than other game meat. It is a coarser, heavier meat that may take more seasonings or sauces, and more cooking time, to tenderize.

Below is a bear meat recipe that produces fully cooked, yet tender and moist bear meat.

Braised Bear Roast

Slow braising in a Dutch oven tenderizes this shoulder roast. You may substitute any large roast if you don’t have a shoulder left in the freezer.

1/2 c. flour
Salt and pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
3-4 pound beat shoulder roast (at least 2 inches thick)
Vegetable oil (for browning)
1/2 pound diced salt pork or thick sliced bacon
1/2 stick butter
2 large onions sliced
1 large apple peeled, seeded, and sliced
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1 12 oz. bottle of dark beer or beef broth
1 small can tomato sauce
ΒΌ c. apple cider
1 bay leaf
2 cloves of garlic

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix the flour, thyme, and salt and pepper in a large paper bag. Add the roast; and shake to coat. In Dutch oven, on the stovetop, brown bear meat on all sides in oil over medium heat. Remove bear meat; set aside. Add the salt pork to the pan and fry until brown and crisp and fat is rendered. Remove salt pork pieces from pan and reserve. Add butter to the drippings in the pan and cook the onions and apple slices until soft. Add sugar and cook and stir until onions are browned. Add beer, tomato sauce, and cider scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan. Return meats to the pan. Add bay leaf and garlic cloves. Cover; bake until bear meat is tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Serve sliced with mashed potatoes and pass the pan juices.

For an autographed copy of Lorelie’s award winning cookbook Gourmet Gone Wild, go to http://www.radicalbowhunter.com or visit your local bookstore.

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