We just returned from a vacation in the North Woods of Wisconsin and learned from the caretaker at the place at which we stay that they cook bear up there. Anyone ever tried it? Any recipes - in case bear is sent our way?
I cook bear every now and then. In fact, it's going to be on my Patriots tailgate menu on November 26th when we play -- you guessed it -- the Bears. It's usually served as ground meat in meatballs, burgers or sausages, but you can also use larger cuts if you braise them properly. Here's a simple recipe:
BRAISED BEAR STEAK
Salt and pepper
1 cup sliced onions
4 tbsp. bacon fat
Bear steak, 3" thick
1 1/2 cups broth
1 cup red wine
2 tbsp. tomato paste
Pound the flour and dry seasonings into the steak with the edge of a plate or a meat pounder. Brown the onions in the bacon fat and add the meat. Brown meat well on all sides. Add part of the broth and wine and bring to a boil. Cook briskly for 5 minutes. Turn steak, reduce heat, and cover the pan. Simmer for 1-1 1/2 hours, adding more liquid if necessary. When steak is tender, remove it to a hot platter. Add the tomato paste and additional liquid, if needed, to the pan juices to make a smooth sauce. Taste for seasoning and pour over the steak. Surround with boiled potatoes, garnish with parsley, and serve with sautéed mushrooms.
According to the L. L. Bean Game and Fish Cookbook, bear can be prepared as you would pork - the fatty, old-fashioned pork you can't get anymore, that is. It should be cooked until well-done to avert any danger of trichinosis.
I've never tried it, bears being scarce these days in my neck of the woods.
I had bear served to me once, on a fishing trip in Canada. It was alright, but nothing I would ever order, or want to order. Moose on the other hand is what I'd like to get my hands on.
Oh, God! This post conjures up one of my most horrendous food memories. I was 15, spending the summer with friends who were serious chowhounds. Someone presented them with 10 pounds of "bear steak". They marinated it for three days, then roasted in the oven. The smell was beyond nauseating. Those of us who actually forced ourselves to taste it feel forever bonded in a sisterhood of adventurism and stupidity. Of course something that smelled like old roadkill would taste bad! Don't do it.