With bear seasons both spring and fall, we have multiple opportunities to stock the freezer with bear meat. Attitudes and opinions vary greatly on the subject of bear meat. There are some that have had bear cooked incorrectly and refuse to give it another try, and there are others that swear it is the best tasting game meat around.
When taken care of properly from the field to the table, bear meat can be indistinguishable from beef. A family favorite with any game meat is this very basic stew that can be changed up in a variety of ways.
- 2 pounds bear meat, cubed
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 6 medium potatoes, peeled & cubed
- 4 carrots, peeled & chopped
- 2/3 cup flour
- 3 teaspoons seasoning salt
- 8 cups beef or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Chives or green onions for garnish if desired
In a medium bowl, mix flour and seasoning salt. Add meat to flour mixture and stir until coated. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Saute onions until translucent (3-6 minutes). Add flour-coated meat, sauteing until browned (5-7 minutes). Add broth, carrots and potatoes. Bring stew to a rolling boil, stirring frequently. Turn heat to low and simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until stew is thick and meat is tender.
Crock Pot Instructions: Once meat has been browned, all ingredients can be added to a crock pot. On high heat, stew should take approximately 3-4 hours.
TIPS TO BETTER BEAR
- Field dress and skin bear as soon as possible.
- Cool meat promptly in a freezer or ice chest.
- Remove all bones, fat and silverskin during butchering.
- Age meat prior to cooking (portions of meat can be aged before butchering but if there is lack of time or short-term refrigeration, roasts can be aged after they thaw in the refrigerator, uncovered 3-7 days).
- Preferred cooking methods for most cuts – “Low & Slow” – Crock Pot, Dutch Oven, Braised, Smoked (jerky) or Brined/Marinated & Stir-Fried or Ground and used in place of beef (be sure to cook thoroughly)