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Thread: What / how do you prepare and cool spring black bear?

  1. #1
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    Default What / how do you prepare and cool spring black bear?

    Looking to harvest a spring black bear and was wondering the best way to prepare the meat? Sausage/burger or just jerkey?

    What is your favorate tasty way?

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    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    Whatever recipe or method you choose, learn to prepare meat yourself and you'll get alot more out of your yield, satisfaction, and it will last longer in the freezer as well.

    My favorite burger recipe requires that I (you) grind the meat myself.
    I progressive-grind about 3 to 4 pounds of meat at a time by the following method:

    Refrigerator-thawed meat, 1-inch-cubed, in a large mixing bowl.
    Add Mesquite seasoning to the bowl until the cubed meat is lightly covered with seasoning. Mix. Allow to stand in refrigerator overnight.

    Prepare and set aside:
    1 bulb of garlic, peeled. Full bulb, each clove individually peeled.
    1 whole poblano pepper. Stem removed, cut into 8ths. Okay if seeds remain as they will be ground.
    12 strips of bacon, thick-cut

    I grind utilizing the grinding attachment of a Kitchen-Aid Mixer. Progressive grind is achieved by grinding with the large die, then regrinding 2/3 of the meat through the smaller die. The result is a finely-ground meat that is already seasoned. Reserving 1/3 from the second grinding assures that the meat will not have too mealy a texture.

    The bacon, poblano and garlic are added at intervals during the grinding process to distribute them evenly within the meat.

    Once ground, add 1/2 cup of water to the ground meat mixture and knead with your hands in the bowl until the water is incorporated and the seasonings are evenly distributed.

    Roll out a small sausage-patty-sized burger and cook it to check for flavor. Some salt, pepper or other spice may be added to adjust flavor.

    --------------------------

    With this mix, meatballs, burgers, meat for shepherd's pie, spaghetti or meatloaf can be prepared.

    --------------------------

    You can substitute other seasoning mixes for Mesquite Seasoning as long as they are not too salty. Montreal Seasoning is a good one. A seasoning mix that is too salty will cause the meat to lose too much moisture in the cooking process and the result will be too salty and mealy.

    I sometimes use Crimini Mushrooms in the grind. They add flavor, fatty mouth-feel and moisture.

    --------------------------

    One day there will be a "Cooking Hard...In Alaska" book. Promise!

    Enjoy,

    Taylor

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    Taylor,

    I have to agree 100% about processing your (mine) own meat that we harvest. I have only had 2 animals processed in close to 30 years and they where done due to the temp outside and outher hunting partners had not harvested game yet. I enjoy processing my own game for several reasons. The first one is I like to know that I am getting my own game back. Two I know just how the meat is handled/prepared and the third reason is that is saves a lot of money! With deer I just save a roast and make the rest in to some of the best mouth wattering jerkey you have ever put in your mouth. Has anyone made bear jerky yet? If so how did it turn out? Marc do you use a hand grinder or a elct one? I have been thinking of getting a elect one to help cut down the grind time and spare my arms LOL.

    From how I read it you just package your meat whole and grind it up as you need it? Did I read this correct? If so that is a great concept that way you can reduct the air pockets and possible bactera in the meat till cooked/consumed. I would think that it would vacume pack and store better as well.

    MontHunter

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    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    Here's a bunny-burger from last week:

    That's Spinach and Mozzarella Cheese you're seeing as well!

    Enjoy,

    Taylor
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    Monthunter -
    Yes, I freeze in 4# cuts. Moisture is retained, surface-area is reduced, and freezer-burn is non-existent!

    Taylor

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    Member MNViking's Avatar
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    I havn't tried the bunny burger but had been thinking about it. Also, spinach is the way to go on a burger, I havn't used lettuce in a long time.
    Finally, Brad Childress is GONE!

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    Member J2theD's Avatar
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    I was told by a friend that Spring Black bear was phenomenal in a crock pot. He said it was like a super moist roast.

    We made bunny burgers this year that were delicious. Everyone who had one commented on how good they were.

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    I did crock pot, roasts, and steaks with mine and it was awesome

    I don't understand with how good black bear can be by itself why people feel the need to turn the whole thing into sausage

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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Treat black bear meat as the finest gourmet meat you have ever had in your hands: because it is. Because it is such a terrific meat, it does make excellent sausage. But its a terrible waste to put all the meat into sausage- after all, if you season and prepare it right, just about any meat tastes good as sausage. We keep everything that looks like a roast as a roast, chop some for stew meat, cut the ribs into short rib packages, steak up the loins and backstraps, and grind the scraps.

    Here's the key to cooking it; use a meat thermometer. For roasts, bring it to the bare minimum temperature to kill bugs, which is 160*, then take it out of the oven. Searing the roast before setting in the oven or crock pot is critical, as that seals in the juices. It continues to cook for a few minutes, so the heat will rise a touch, and the meat will be safe to eat without being overcooked. Keep fat on the meat- don't trim it off. If its just rolling in it, you can trim some off, but leave a good layer- it adds great flavor and moisture to the meat.

    Cooling the meat in the field usually isn't an issue. Most bears are shot in the evening, and night time temps are going to be in the 40's or so in Southcentral. If I do shoot one in the daytime and its hot out, I'll get the hide off as soon as I can. If I hear the death moan, I'm going after the bear immediately. If not, I wait an hour then begin tracking. I don't want them marinating in the hide. Compared to moose, bear are pretty small, and much easier to move around, so I gut them first, then begin the process of peeling the hide. Get meat into game bags right away, and hang in the shade so air circulates around it. If its really warm, I'll peel back the moss a little to get to frozen ground and lay the game bag on that.

    I treat the meat inside that trophy hide as being far more valuable than the hide. So far, it has never disappointed me.

  10. #10

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    We save the tenderloins and backstraps for the grill and grind the rest into burger. I add bacon to the grinder for buger meat if im planning to use for burgers its awesome. The rest i use for spaghetti tacos etc. I use burger a lot more than steaks roasts etc. For sausage I get a sausage spice and then just add a tsp full to the burger everytime i want some that way im not making 20lbs of sausage that i may not eat very often.

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    I agree that bear on its own is good, but I am a sausage head! Black Bear sausage lasagna, or sausage and potato! You can never go wrong with sausage just remember to save the Loin and tender loin for roasts!

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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Taylor View Post
    Here's a bunny-burger from last week:

    That's Spinach and Mozzarella Cheese you're seeing as well!

    Enjoy,

    Taylor
    Dang, that looks good!

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    The backstraps make fine medallions to fry, dusted with flour. Most of the rest of the meat I cook in spaghetti sauce, stew or chili type dishes. The heavy grain of the meat makes for excellent stewing dishes. I usually pre cook the meat in some type of seasoned water prior to putting in the stew or chile. Use some garlic, pepper, soy sauce etc.. and cook the meat for about 30 min at a low boil. Then cool it and use for the stew type dishes. Never had any triginosis (sp) type problems. Eat black bear, brown bears can't be wrong.

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    Member blasterak's Avatar
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    Its great in the crockpot. I put some BBQ sauce and a roast in the crockpot, let it cook all day. Like pulled pork, great for sandwiches for the next few days.

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