Thursday, February 2, 2012

Gaelic Style Black Bear

So I'm giving some serious thought to going after some spring black bear. It's edible. I'll keep you posted.

Black bear is a very lean and flavorful meat when cooked properly. This recipe may look a little complicated, but as almost all of the measurements are approximate, this is something that can be cooked at camp or at home. As with all great recipes, the amount of the ingredients that you use can be tailored to your own particular tastes without sacrificing the outcome. A word of warning, bear meat must always be cooked absolutely thoroughly or any parasites (trichinosis) that are in the meat could make you very ill. Bears caught in the fall are said to have fewer parasites than those caught in the spring, but I'm looking into that further.

Gaelic Style Black Bear
6 lb. Bear Roast, boneless
1 c. dry red wine
½ c. olive oil
1/3 c. heavy cream
1 c. Scotch Whiskey 
3 tsp. soy sauce
1 c. water, tepid
1 Onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot, sliced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced or button style
1 stick plus 3 T. Butter
½ c. flour
Dried mustard, to taste
Dried tarragon, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

To start you will want to marinate the roast by placing it in a large plastic bag or a covered bowl with the wine, olive oil, onion, garlic, carrot and tarragon. Refrigerate for about 24 hours, turning often.

When ready to cook, discard the marinade and rub the roast with approximately ¼ cup of the flour (more as needed), dried mustard, and about a stick of butter.  Make sure you have a large thick bottomed pan with a rack that’s approximately 2 inches above the bottom of the pan, and add about an inch of water to the pan. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place the roast on a rack in your pan. You’ll roast the meat for approximately 30 minutes and then reduce your heat to 325 and continue to roast for another 3 to 3 ½ hours. Do NOT baste during the roasting and NEVER undercook bear meat. The meat should be “fall off the bone” tender when done. Reserve the pan juices for gravy.

To prepare the gravy, bring the reserved pan juices to a medium boil in a heavy pot on stovetop. Add 3 T. of butter, the green onions, and soy sauce, then stir until the butter is melted. Mix ¼ c. of flour with tepid to warm water. Slowly and gradually whisk in the flour mixture until the gravy thickens. Now stir in the heavy cream and 1 c. of scotch or more as your taste allows.

Carve your roast into slices approximately ¼ inch thick and pour the gravy over the meat. The roast can be served with a green salad and rolls as a side, or any light crispy vegetable that you have in season and on hand.