Brown Bear Vegetable Stew
This is what we had tonight as our last meal of 2008. The Bear meat was so tender that it melted in your mouth. It didn’t have the wild taste I was expecting, instead it tasted like beef and had the same texture as beef. It was very taste and everyone had seconds.
2 lb Bear meat 1/8 cup Vinegar 1 tb Salt 2 cups Water
1/4 cup Shortening 2 cloves Garlic chopped
1 small pinch sage
1 small pinch thyme
1 small pinch cilantro
1 small pinch rosemary
2 small pinches bay leaf
5 small pinches black pepper
1/4 cup cold water
3-4 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup dairy cream
2 large carrots sliced
1 medium orange bell pepper
2 med red onions
1/2 cauliflower finely trimmed
1 broccoli finely trimmed
vegetable broth/stock – 6 cups water with 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
Trim all fat and skin from the Bear meat and wash it in cold water. Cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes and soak 20 minutes in 2 cups of water with 1/8 cup vinegar and 1 tablespoon salt. Drain well after soaking and pat dry. (NOTE: If the Bear meat is really tough, you can double the soaking time.)
Melt shortening in a heavy frying pan with 2 cloves chopped garlic, add bear meat and brown well on all sides.
Take the browned Bear meat together with the cooking juices and the vegetable broth/stock and place into a 4 liter (or larger) cast-iron skillet with lid. Add the sage, thyme, cilantro, bay leaf and rosemary. Crush these spices by rolling them between your 1st finger and thumb as you add it to the skillet. Also add the black pepper. Gently cook (low heat) with lid on for 1 1/2 hours.
Add the sliced carrots and continue low heat cooking for 30 more minutes.
Take 1/4 cup of cold water and slowly add corn starch, mixing it with a fork until it thickens up into a paste. Bring the stew to a slow boil and add the paste to the stew and slow boil until the sauce thickens up.
Now add the dairy cream and stir.
Reduce the temperature back to low and add the remaining vegetables (orange bell pepper, red onions, cauliflower, broccoli) and gently cook for 15 minutes or until all the veggies are warm.
Serve with warm garlic bread.