By Dante Zuniga-West Native Americans and other “old-timers” believed that the spirit of a bear resided in its heart. For this reason, consuming the heart was thought to be a way of absorbing strength from the animal they revered as “man without fire.” Whether or not you ascribe to this belief, one indisputable fact is simple: a properly prepared bear heart is delicious. So, the next time you’re elbow-deep in your field dressing process, don’t pass up the opportunity to harvest this tasty treat. Here’s a no-nonsense, easy-to-pull-off recipe for bear heart that can be cooked at home or at camp.
By Ken Wells "With butter generally absent from the diets of most colonial Louisianans, early roux relied on oil rendered from local bear lard. Bear oil was not only in wide circulation... but with a higher smoke point than butter; cooks could achieve a darker, more robust roux."
As seen in the Jan/Feb 2015 Issue of Bear Hunting Magazine! Bear oil or rendered bear fat can be used in substitute for any recipe calling for oil or Crisco. Bear oil has almost zero odor and ads no negative flavors, but is actually renowned for making baked goods light and fluffy. Liven the conversation around desert with some bear oil cookies this winter. Typically cookie recipes call for Crisco. Substituting oil will make the batter and finished cookies much more crumbly. The batter is best made into a ball shape. Be prepared for them to be light, flaky and quite crumbly. They will not melt down and flatten while cooking. However, the taste will be excellent.
As seen in the Nov/Dec 2018 Issue of Bear Hunting Magazine! If you’re looking for an easy recipe that yields tender beef-like barbecue, look no further than this little jewel.
As seen in the July/August 2017 Issue of Bear Hunting Magazine! I had a productive fall season for gathering wild game meat. While some of it we ate fresh, much of it I processed and put in the freezer for a later date. That later date is now. I provide for a family of five, not including myself. My wife and I have almost exclusively raised our children on wild game – much of which has been whitetail deer because it’s easy to acquire, seasons are liberal, and the meat is excellent. Typically, we run out about this time of year. So, recently I reached into the freezer and pulled out round two, predator meat.
As seen in the May/June 2017 Issue of Bear Hunting Magazine! Bear hunters are always looking for better ways to cook bear meat. It is no different for this out-doorsman. I have had bear prepared many ways: steaks, roasts, broiled, slow cooked, you name it. I have always liked to turn a good portion of my bear meat into Italian Breakfast Sausage. Why? Well, the sausage goes well with lasagna, spaghetti and makes for nice additions to my venison when making meatloaf. Last season I was experimenting with a new idea that came to me when I actually was trying to use up some items in my refrigerator. This is what I came up with.
As seen in the July/August 2018 Issue of Bear Hunting Magazine! Bear recipes are a dime a dozen because I haven’t found a beef recipe that you couldn’t substitute bear meat for and have great results. Chances are whatever you’re doing to your beef steaks will work just as well with bear. I like to allow any meat that I’m grilling to warm up to room temperature before cooking. This combined with a lower cooking temperature helps keep it from being tough. I use lump charcoal and once my fire is reduced to coals and I can comfortably hold my hand a few inches above the grill heat for 5 seconds without causing discomfort I’ll start grilling. I chose a bone-in bear ham steak for this recipe. Remember, just like cooking pork, use a meat thermometer to insure you reach the magic temperature of 160 degrees.
As seen in the September/October 2017 Issue of Bear Hunting Magazine! Don't overcomplicate it! Sometimes simple is best!
As seen in the March/April 2017 Issue of Bear Hunting Magazine! My whole life growing up I heard people talk negatively about bear meat. Without ever trying it, I already had a “bad taste” in my mouth. As I grew older and began to prepare my own meals and cook the meat from my hunts, I started to wonder if people really knew what they were talking about when they discussed the taste of bear meat. Does the meat really taste that bad? Or do people not care for the meat, and take improper butchering and cooking preparations? After I harvested a Pennsylvania bear I had to find out for myself. Here's what I did.
As seen in the November/December 2017 Issue of Bear Hunting Magazine! Similar to the way that all food is better with bacon, most meat is better when it’s country-fried. Bear liver is no exception. Breaded, pan-fried bear liver is a downright delicacy for anyone who loves to get the most out of their bruin. The key is having the right ingredients. When it comes to acquiring your bear liver, we’ll leave that up to you, but here’s how to cook it to country-fried perfection.