I know my mother loved me because she made baked round steak or center-cut pork chops in mushroom sauce when I asked her to. Now my wife cooks this kind of thing when she needs something specific, or she just wants to show me that she continues to enjoy my company. This is one of my favorite meals and has been since I was a little kid. 

The marsala and mushroom-baked bear steak below is like this, but better. Marsala is a sweet, fortified Spanish wine and, in my opinion, more suited to select cooking situations than drinking. The combination of marsala, mushrooms, leeks, and cream yields a rich sauce that delivers more deliciousness than a can of mushroom soup ever will. The chock-a-block flavor of dried mushrooms is released by soaking them in hot water and the mushroomy flavor of that drained liquid forms half of the sauce.  

The bear I used for this recipe is a chunk of sirloin removed from between the pelvis and the backbone. The sirloin is a fist-sized chunk of lean meat that works perfectly for this recipe. A leg steak would work fine too. This recipe serves two. Prep takes about 30 minutes followed by two hours in the oven. 




Measuring cups and spoons 

Container to hold flour for dredging 


Casserole dish or small dutch oven  


Cutting board 





1 lb of bear steak (sirloin or leg) cut into small steaks, 1/2-inch thick 

1 leek, quartered, washed, and chopped coarsely 

2 Tbsp dijon mustard 

1/4 cup of whipping cream 

1/4 cup marsala wine (substitute cooking sherry or 1 Tbsp of liquid honey) 

1/2 cup all-purpose flour 

1 cup of dried sliced mushrooms, covered with boiling water to refresh 

Coarse salt and pepper 

Bear grease (substitute duck fat or butter) 





  1. Boil the kettle and just cover the mushrooms in hot water. 

  1. Rinse thawed bear steak under cold water and dry with paper towels. Cut steaks to size. 

  1. Season steak well with coarse salt and pepper on both sides (this will be the only salt added to this dish). 

  1. Set the oven to 350 degrees F. 

  1. Quarter the leek lengthwise and rinse in cold water, then chop coarsely. 

  1. Measure the other ingredients. 

  1. Dredge the seasoned steak in all-purpose flour. 

  1. Melt a tablespoon of bear grease in the skillet and sear the steak over medium-high heat until both sides are well-browned. Add steak to a casserole dish or small dutch oven. 

  1. Add the last tablespoon of fat to the skillet and toss in the chopped leek.  

  1. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Then, coarsely chop the mushrooms. 

  1. When the leek softens and begins to color, add the mushrooms and the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then pour over the steak.  

  1. Bake in the oven for two hours. 

  1. Check every 30 minutes or so and add freshly boiled water if required. 

  1. Serve with creamy mashed potatoes and braised red cabbage, or another vegetable of your choice. 

When people (mostly hunters) ask me what bear meat tastes like, I say it is a cross between beef and pork––sort of a beefy pig with longer hair and bigger teeth. The bear steak in this recipe is richly enhanced by the combination of earthy mushrooms, the mild onion flavor of leeks, and the gentle sweet hit from the marsala wine. This will be a regular feature on our rotating game menu.