Home > family, party, recipes, supper, things to try > Bear. Not-Bear.

Bear. Not-Bear.

I recently came into possession of some burger meat from a bear.  My uncle Art went bear hunting this year and he managed to get one.  For a man who usually doesn’t say a lot, he was sure talkative when the subject came up.  In fact, he’s the one who brought it up.  Also, it was his idea for me to take home a couple of packages of bear meat.  He kept telling me that he was planning on turning all of it into summer sausage, but once he fried some up, he decided that it was too good to turn into sausage.  Along with the meat came the warning that it was a very lean meat, so I should be careful when cooking it so it doesn’t burn.  And that I needed to cook it all the way through because there is a risk of trichinosis.  Between Art and Mom, I got this information about a dozen times.  Of course I remembered all of this from the last time that I had bear, approximately 20 years ago (the last time Art shot one).  Crap.  I’m getting old.

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Bear is a very red meat.

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These beef, i.e. “not-bear,” patties look very pale in comparison.

I didn’t do anything fancy with the bear meat.  I just formed patties and fried them up.  The reasoning was that I wanted to try it again with no alterations.  Also, we had a bunch of people over that wanted to try it for the first time, so I decided they should try it unadorned.  The beef I did a la Karen Burger style.

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I think there should be a picture of the bear patties frying. Therefore, there is a picture of bear patties frying.

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Frying the other side.

Once both the bear and not-bear were fried up, they looked a lot alike:

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I was trying to do an “artistic” shot here with the not-bear.

Once I had everything ready for supper, I stepped into the living room to let everyone know that the food was ready.  In an apparently futile attempt to streamline the process, I had the meat separated into two different (and distinct) bowls.  I held one up and said “Bear,” and then held the other bowl up and said “Not-bear.”  I then had to explain it again thirty seconds later when they stepped into the dining room.

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The crew chowing down on bear burgers and watching Big Bang Theory.
(L to R) Lindz, Matt, Sheryl, Dave, John, and Janessa’s foot.

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Since Janessa didn’t fit in the previous shot, she gets her own picture. Well, that and she always has the greatest facial expressions.

Since you’ve read this far, I should actually tell you about the flavor of bear.  The steak that I had twenty years ago was very sweet.  I know that sounds odd, but that was the dominant flavor.  It was by far the richest piece of meat that I had ever eaten, before or since.  It was only about a 8 oz steak and I was a teenage farm boy, nevertheless I could barely finish the thing because of how intense the flavor was.  The best way that I can describe the sweetness is to liken the taste to beef with a berry sauce.  Not 100% accurate, but it should at least point you in the right direction.  This is what I was expecting when I was frying up the burgers.  I have to admit I was a bit disappointed when I tried the burgers.  It had a lovely game flavor (you definitely knew you weren’t eating beef), but it was lacking in the rich, intensity that I was searching for.  Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it immensely and I’m plotting to swipe another package over Christmas.

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  1. December 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    First time I’ve ever seen cooking with bear. Shame I’ll never try that; bears are a bit thin on the ground round these parts

  2. December 9, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    This past summer, we made sloppy joes with ground bear. We used the same recipe we use for making sloppy joes with bison. It’s on our blog, and it’s really good. Love “The Big Bang Theory!” Cheers from Jack and Barbra.

    • December 9, 2012 at 9:39 pm

      Having studied physics in college, I’ve got a sweet spot in my heart for those nerds. I was just browsing through your blog and I plan on making it a regular stop. I have been to Alaska once (back in 2000 I helped a friend move to Anchorage) and I’ve been itching to find my way back up that way. Enjoy your adventure! I look forward to hearing about it.

      • December 9, 2012 at 9:43 pm

        Thanks for stopping by, and DO get up to Alaska, I hope you’ll look us up in Seward!

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