Wild game meals are prepared in a variety of ways and we are sharing photos of some of our favorites here. Since frying and baking require oil (grease), I am starting with the making of bear grease.
Bear grease has a lower melting point and longer shelf life than pork lard. It can be used in any cooking requiring lard, butter, oil, or margarine. It’s even used for making bath soap! We used huckleberry oil to add a bit of scent to this batch of bear grease soap.
How does one cook bear? For starters, bear (like pork and lion) is not safe to eat raw or rare and must be heated to 160 degrees F to be safe.
What does it look like? Bear meat is a dark red similar looking to emu meat.
I’ve heard that bear tastes “gamey”. Is this the case? This depends on how the meat was handled and processed in the field and is easy to avoid. One exception might be a bear living close to humans and eating their trash…
How do we like to cook our bear meat? I’ll show you below.
What about other game animals? Deer can be used in and improves any recipe calling for beef and is very good when cooked to rare. Cougar (mountain lion) is excellent and looks similar to lean pork. Like pork and bear, lion must be cooked up to 160 degrees fahrenheit.
Then there is the wild turkey. Using all of a wild turkey is easy. We start by pressure cooking the legs and thighs then shredding the meat for taco meat or ‘shredded turkey’ sandwiches. The wings, back, and other carcass parks, as well as the liquid from pressure cooking the legs, are used to make soup stock. Just boil or pressure cook it all and after it cools, remove all the bones. The left over meat and liquid make a great stock for turkey soups or turkey and dumplings!
The breasts can be used several ways but our favorite is to butterfly cut them, tenderize and evenly thin with a meat hammer, then using flour and eggs, “chicken fry” them. The oil from the frying is used to make a milk gravy for topping the breast steaks.
Wild turkey can also be cooked then ground to make ‘turkey salad’ for sandwiches. I sliced the cooked breasts then ground using my ‘medium’ plate.
All of these game animals were harvest at or near Starvation Acres.