By Troy Rodakowski
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.
- 1-2 pounds ground Italian Bear Sausage ½ cup minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- ½ diced onion
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons sriracha or tobasco sauce 1 farm fresh egg
- 1 bottle favorite bbq sauce
I like to get a large mixing bowl and incor-porate all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Leave the bbq sauce out and add later. Once ingredients are mixed, form 4 – 6 meat rounds approximately 3-4 inches in diameter. These are larger size since they will cook down and of course you can make them smaller if you feel necessary. Pan sear meat balls for 1 minute in hot olive oil to encrust and brown outside. Place meat balls into slow cooker or crock pot. Now add a full bottle of your favorite bbq sauce and cook on low for approximately 6 hours.
Once finished remove meat from slow cooker at let sit for 5 minutes. Garnish plates with fresh sprouts or steamed vegetables of your choice, sliced farm grown tomatoes and top with herb infused feta. Place meat balls onto the plate and drizzle sauce from slow cooker over the top of the meat. Serve with your favorite wine and bread. Enjoy!