My big Brother lives in the northern part of alberta and he is a hunter, so if you are non-hunting, please stop reading now LOL, no really its not that bad but just giving a heads up, he is black bear country and he has tags for two bear per year, which tells you that there is a lot of black bear in his neck of the woods, he has a legal registered Bear Bait barrel..
Big Brother hunted with a bow.. and he is a dam fine shot.. Now the thing that surprised me a tiny bit is that when you are hunting for bear, you are in fact hunting for the hide, per the rules, not the meat.
It is unlawful to:
- allow the skin of any bear to be wasted, destroyed, spoiled, or abandoned. See exception for salvaging skin. Click here for Access for Control of Livestock Predation.
- hunt a black bear under the age of one year or a female black bear accompanied by a cub under the age of one year.
However Big Brother did in fact bring home a goodly amount of the meat as well, and so when I arrived we were able to make Bear Jerky (a very interesting meat to dry, its lean enough but has a very clear different taste, the texture was good but it has a “liver” taste to it as it cures out and as a after flavour on the meat alone, so this ended up spiced up and then wow, it was just awesome, some was done in the oven, for a rich more moist jerky and the rest was done in the smoker at a lower and slower heat but allowed to get really nice and dry.. just yummy! a big bowl of bear jerky sat on the counter and ended up on trip etc.
Momma had gotten a cookbook (one of many) on the trip and it had a interesting recipe for a polish pork sausage that we made, I didn’t like it, it was just wrong in texture and taste to me for a breakfast sausage but thankfully others liked it because we made like 28 pounds or so of it.
But we also had some bear that we could do up, so it was a true farmgal sausage, no formal recipe at all, ten pounds of super cold bear, five pounds of fatty pork, two huge big onions, 2 pounds of dried and sweetened cranberries, a bottle of white wine and the spices and cure needed for a batch of mild pepperettes.
This combo was taken off a recipe I had done for a duck breast sausage, the bear has that same super dark full dark meat and I figured if it would work for geese breast or my big duck, then the odds are it would work for the bear..
Big Brother has a set up that just makes me drool, he has all the brought and proper things that I have old or smaller versions of, but the good thing about getting to use the equipment, was that I found what I would not want, what I REALLY DO want and what I change in regards to size etc.. I want a version of his grinder, that thing is amazing, I would like a smaller version of his stuffer, and his smoker is amazing!
We make smaller breakfast sausages for the freezer, and then we did so many links to be smoked for me, and then the rest was made up into burgers, I loved the burger, it had a very different taste then the sausage or the cured and smoked ones did.
It was a interesting result, the first bite, the texture is good, the smoke is there but you get this bite of flavour that your taste buds go huh..(its the bear, I think) and then as the flavours come out in the meat, you find yourself going back for more and the afterflavours are awesome.
Now when fresh made the wine was a bit strong but those that have tried the dried and smoked, find it has a nice blend in total and can’t tell that I used the wine vs having added a bit of soy sauce, both will give you that acid bite to the dish.
While we did the one batch just us, when it came to the bear sausage, big brother was needed on the phone and so neice HP the older of the two stepped up and gave aunty a helping hand, we made 22 together and little sister helped make one as well.. good job girls!
So much more fun when you can visit and share the work and event wih others while doing it, often even while making sausage, I work alone on the farm, dh being at work off the farm, so this was a real treat for me!