Bear With A Mediterranean Twist

Bear is one our family’s favorite – if not the favorite – wild game meats. Taken care of in the field and in the kitchen, many dinner guests of ours couldn’t believe they were sinking their teeth into bear, not beef. Annually, we consume two to three bears a year, and rarely make sausage from any of it. The first time we had a traditional pita with hummus and tzatziki while traveling through Europe. It was a memorable experience and one we wanted to bring home. The amazing spices and flavors compensated for the fact we had no idea what kind of meat we were eating. Later we learned it was goat. We’ve since had it with both black bear and grizzly,
and both were excellent.

Bears in pitas
1 pound bear, cut into small chunks
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, pureed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram,
finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Marinate bear in refrigerator up to 24 hours. Heat a medium skillet on medium-high heat, add bear with all marinade. Bring to a quick boil, letting marinade reduce for five to 10 minutes. Strain off marinade and discard. Serve bear in a warm pita with lettuce, tomatoes, hummus and tzatziki.

Tzatziki
1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
2 cups cucumber, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice
1 teaspoon dill weed (optional)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Dice cucumbers and place on several paper towels; pat
dry to remove extra water. In a medium bowl mix all
ingredients and keep refrigerated.

Hummus
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans,
drained
3 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon cumin
Dash of cayenne or hot pepper sauce

Place all ingredients in a food chopper and puree until smooth. Add water if necessary to reach desired consistency. Keep refrigerated.

By Tiffany Haugen

Editor’s note: For more bear recipes and signed copies of Scott & Tiffany Haugen’s popular cookbook, Cooking
Big Game, send a check for $20 (free
S&H) to Haugen Enterprises, P.O. Box
275, Walterville, OR 97489 or order
online at scotthaugen.com.

 

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