Wild Food: Bear For Dinner and Dessert.

Home is very open country, especially once the corn is down.

Home is very open country, especially once the corn is down.

After a trip back home to visit the family ended in 4 unsuccessful hunts (all thwarted by a small herd of black Angus) , I came back to a Monday off, except for class. I had a lot to do around the house, so I figured a set-it-and-forget-it meal was in order. I pulled out my first bear roast  and my cast iron dutch oven.

GE

 

I set it in a 300F oven, and went on to rake the front yard, mulch the maple leaves, pull all but my hardy onions and leeks from the garden, sweep the floors, do laundry, and wash dishes. It cooked for a solid 4.5 hours until I could just pull it apart with a fork. I didn’t quite want it falling apart on me, as it was a Yankee pot roast- they need to hold together just a bit more than that. I neglected to get a picture of the finished meal, which is a shame, because as humble as it looked, it was good. Given that I cooked it that long with potatoes, onions, and carrots, it came out tasting little different than a beef pot roast. But there was a certain kind of sweetness to it that cow does not have.  I’ll need to try a few different applications for the meat.

GE

 

As far as applications for the fat go, I had one in mind for the last few weeks. Originally, I wanted to make a nice apple pie with the bear lard in the crust. I bought the apples and everything, and then work ate up all my time- the apples went mealy. Some of them went into a run-of-the-mill Apfelkuchen I tossed together, and the rest Matt’s been using as muskrat bait. But I had time last night, and I still had blackberries from this past summer. I followed this recipe, and doubled it for a double crust pie.

As the balls of pie dough chilled in the freezer, i tossed together the filling. The formula I use is fruit + thickener (corn starch, here) + sugar +dash of sour. In this case, it was wild black berries, cornstarch, brown sugar, and two shakes of Balsamic vinegar.

GE

 

The berries were still a bit frozen, so I cooked them a little over low heat while I placed and trimmed the pie shell. Into the shell the whole mix went.

GE

And then on went the cap, and into the oven.

I dot the tops of my pies with butter, and sprinkle them with sugar. They still never come out pretty.

I dot the tops of my pies with butter, and sprinkle them with sugar. They still never come out pretty.

I won’t be winning any county fair pie contests any time soon- I make damn ugly pies. I haven’t tasted it yet, but the elephant ear I made with the leftover nibs of crust trimmings was pretty tasty.

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6 thoughts on “Wild Food: Bear For Dinner and Dessert.

    • I find the cast iron skillet makes the best pie tin I’ve ever used, far and away. I’m betting the heavy metal container, plus the fat of a large omnivore, and berries I gathered myself are all adding to the manliness 🙂

  1. Oh my goodness! Deerslayer had heard that bear lard made the best pie crust…. and here you’ve done it. Soooooo, was the crust really flaky? How was the flavor? Using the cast iron for the pie is brilliant. I’ll bet there weren’t any spots where the crust was mushy. I have all sizes of cast iron And.there’s the roast…. it looks fabulous. The meat is so dark. I’d love to see some pics of the meat w/o seasonings and after cooking. Now I’m gonna be after Deerslayer to plan a bear hunt! Great post!

    • This crust wasn’t super flaky although I did flub (which I didn’t mention) and not add enough water initially. This made the dough really sandy, like shortbread cookie dough. This led to me having to put it back in the mixer, to add more water, all while the fat (which is like bacon grease in that that’s almost-liquid at room temp) melted. The flavor was good, though! no french-fry-y or bottom-of-the-bacon pan after taste. And the bear meat is dark- darker than venison, almost a purpley color, kind of like your nilgai.

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