Chef Albert Wutsch
Rack of Venison
Grilled Game Platter
Chef Wutsch & Arron Tippen
Chef Wutsch & Will Primos
Chef Albert Wutsch & Steve Rinella
Chef Wutsch and Steve Rinella at the 2014 Great American Outdoor Show.
Chef Wutsch & Michael Waddell
Chef Wutsch & Jake McDonald
Chef Wutsch & Jake McDonald
Scott & Tiffany Haugen
Corned Venison Potato Rueben
The recipe for Corned Venison Potato Rueben can be found in the As Seen At Sports Shows section of my website.
The recipe for Venison Saltimbocca can be found in the As Seen At Sports Shows section of my website.
Grilled Venison Loin
Chef Wutsch showcases Grilled Venison Loin with Red Onion Port Reduction & Goats Cheese!
Cache Creek Enterprises
An Authority on Game Cookery
& Avid Outdoorsman
Certified Chef Albert Wutsch
Bringing the Field to Your Table
Backcountry & Lodge Hunting
& Fishing Camp Chef
Cache Creek Enterprises
38 Canyon View Drive
Missoula, MT 59802
by Albert Wutsch, CEC
SOME OF THE bear hunters I know are as ardent about huntin' bears as some turkey fanatics I know are about turkeys. Funny thing is, though, compared to turkey hunters, most bear hunters don't know what to do with the meat. Many times I've heard people say, "Yea, I eat the meat," but it's obvious they seem to struggle through the cooking process, not really understanding how to prepare it. Then there are those who don't hunt bears for the meat, but rather for the magnificent trophies they make. Yet even for those folks, the problem is that too many have never sampled a good bear roast or stew.
Originally Printed in Pennsylvania Game News November 2001
With record numbers of bears being harvested here in Pennsylvania, now's a good time to discuss the preparation of bear meat. The first concern to arise when the subject of eating bear meat comes up is often, "I thought I would get trichinosis from eating beat meat."
Pennsylvania'a bear biologist Mark Ternet insists bear meat be cooked well-done, because the meat could easily carry trichinosis, and the antibodies of Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis in humans. However, both of these parasites can easily be destroyed just by cooking the meat to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Truth is, today there's more concern about the use of domesticated beef from Europe than there ever will be of eating bear meat or any other game meat. So, now that we have overcome the concerns associated with trichinosis and other parasites, let's talk about taste.
Not all bear meat will taste the same. Pennsylvania black bears will not taste at all like Alaskan brown bears that been been feeding on king salmon. Black bears eat primarily vegetation. Also, bear meat from a spring bear is very lean; it has little fat cover and fat within the muscles. Bear meat from an animal taken in the fall, however, has lots of fat, not just on the outside surfaces but throughout the muscles as well. This fat must be removed because it will impart a gamely taste to the meat. It will also sour faster, so the meat should be cooled as quickly as possible.
It is important that you inspect the carcass and meat, as you would with any game animal. Inspect their internal organs and discard all bloodshot meat.
It's important that hunters get the meat cooled down and quickly as possible. Larger muscle mass, combined with an extra layer of fat and a very dense hide means it takes twice as long to cool the meat of a bear then that of a deer. Unfortunately, too many hunters are more concerned about saving the hide than they are the meat. Do your homework. There is too much good meat being wasted because hunters are not prepared to deal with it.
A good site for this information is: http://www.pgc.state.pa.us
There is no mystery to cooking bear meat; it's the same as any other meat. The cut determines the cooking method. All cuts along the back or loin are tender. These should be cooked with dry cooking methods, such as broiling, grilling, roasting and sauteing. All these cooking methods use high heat, fast cooking times and, again, a tender cut of meat.
The cuts from the forequarters are not as tender; as a matter of fact, they're fairly tough. These should be ground for sausages, chili or ground meats, or cut into stew meat. The hind legs are also fairly tough and should be cooked with moisture, for long periods of time, using lower temperatures. The cooking methods best suited for the hind legs are roasting with moisture, braising, stewing, barbecuing and pressure cooking. Canned bear meat is great for a delicious, tender, quick meal. When canning, the key to a good quality product is removing as much fat as possible.
Rubs, cures, marinades and brines all work well for bear meat. Always remove all tendons, fat and tacky membrane from the bear meat for a tender, less gamey tasking meat. You can substitute bear meat for any venison recipes as long as you substitute the same cut of meat. You can even make bear sausage by substituting bear meat for venison. remember, the most important steps that affect the tenderness and taste are what you do at the cutting board and in the pan or oven. These key steps of all the cooking methods can be found in my book, The Art of Cooking Venison.
Following are some great recipes using Pennsylvania's finest bear meat. They work well for any game meat.
Good hunting and eating!