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