Posts Tagged ‘burger’

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.


Bear is a very red meat.


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.


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


Frying the other side.

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


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.


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


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.

A Cresco Weekend.

Last weekend, Lindz and I went to visit friends down in Iowa.  We stayed at our friend Narren’s place in Cresco, which is around twenty miles from Decorah (our adopted hometown).  On Saturday we spent the afternoon bumming around in Decorah and ate at one of my favorite places.  T-Bock’s sports bar has been a frequent haunt of mine.  It was a block from work plus they have good food at a cheap price.  Can’t lose with that combination.  The basket that I want to single out is the peanut butter cheeseburger.  I know it sounds really odd, but it is worth a try.  The nuttiness of the peanuts pairs really well with the beef patty.  It’s not that odd if you think about it.  Remember the last time that you had beef satay?  Basically the burger is a less spicy version of the same thing.  Funny, but I’ve been eating these burgers for years and have never made that connection till now.

Narren had the Feta Burger. A very good option.

I had they gyro. Completely pre-packaged, but tasty.

Lindz had the famous Peanut Butter Cheeseburger. A weird combo but the protein overload is worth it.

For supper that night I cooked a pork recipe out of the latest issue of Cook’s Illustrated that will be the subject of my next post because it deserves its own write-up.  Sunday morning, for brunch, we went to a small Mom and Pop diner called Sue-Z-Q’s.  I’ve eaten there often with Narren and his kids when I’ve visited him, even when I was living in Decorah.  They have the standard fare for this type of eatery, but this time something different caught my eye.  There was a Reuben Haystack.  Essentially a haystack is the same as a hash anywhere else.  So besides the base of potatoes, there was fried corned beef, kraut, Swiss cheese, and a side of 1000 Island.  Of course I had to have a couple over-easy eggs to go with it.  It was a very good combination.  I may have to try and do this one at home sometime.

The only problem is that I didn’t order any toast to sop up everything at the end.