I love old cookbooks. Back when I worked at the public library, I checked the book donations for old cookbooks. One such rescue was a vintage Wild Game Cookbook from the Remington Sportsman’s Library circa 1968.
Thanks to a successful deer season this past year, we have a freezer full of deer meat. We use it in most of our meals instead of beef. But the one thing with having a lot of deer meat is, well, having a lot of deer meat. Sometimes you want something different, something new.
Having friends who are also hunters offers the opportunity for a nice swap. A co-worker of my husband’s killed a bear. Knowing we’re adventurous eaters, we were offered 3 pounds of bear meat. How fortunate was that? But how do you cook bear?
How convenient I happen to have the vintage Wild Game Cookbook on hand. Bear has a high fat content. I’ve always heard the term “bear grease,” and now I know why. So I tried one of the cookbook’s bear stew recipes with a few tweaks of my own.
Loaded for Bear Stew
- 3 pounds bear meat cubed with the fat removed
- 2 cups carrots cut into large chunks
- 2 chopped onions
- ½ cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped okra
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- Small package of whole button mushrooms
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 2 boxes beef stock (32 0z each)
- 2 bay leaves, garlic powder, salt & pepper to taste
- Dust the bear meat lightly with flour. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, brown in hot oil with half of the onions and carrots and all of the celery.
- Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder and bay leaves along with the rest of the carrots and onions, mushrooms, okra, vinegar and beef stock.
- Bring to a rolling boil. Cook for 1 hour at medium or until the meat and carrots are done.
- Serve with bread and butter or biscuits.
Jeanetta Darley is a native Arkansan and writes about the day to day victories & failures with family, farming, gardening, cooking & life in general on her blog “So, I was saying…” at www.jeanettadarley.com.