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Big Game Recipes
Aunt Hazel's Bear Stew
Number of Servings: 8

Ingredients:Alaska Caribou

1 pound lean bear meat cut into 1 inch cubes (substitute caribou or other venison)
3  14 ounce cans of stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 ounces beer
3 cups water
1 medium onion chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
3 medium carrots chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium parsnip chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium turnip chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium green pepper chopped into 1/2 inch squares
1/4 cabbage chopped into 2 inch cubes
3 bay leaves
potatoes (optional)

Directions:

Brown meat with olive oil in large kettle,  Dutch oven, or crock pot.
Add stewed tomatoes, beer, water, salt & pepper to taste.  Simmer until meat is slightly tender and add other seasonings and bay leaves, as desired.
Add onions and carrots - simmer until water starts to boil (carrots take longer than other veggies.
Add parsnips and green pepper - simmer until water starts to boil.
Add cabbage - simmer until water starts to boil.
Remove bay leaves and check ingredients for taste and doneness before serving.
Serve with salad and bread.

Notes & Variations:

Other wild game may be substituted for the bear meat.
Potatoes can be added after the cabbage has simmered and the water starts to boil.

Note: Make sure to cook your bear well done to avoid trichinosis.  A parasite common in wild game and once common in domestic pork. Cook the meat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F for a minimum of 15 seconds.

Contributor:  Carl Higby, RRGC

Anecdotes:

My ancestors were pretty imaginative when it came to fixing whatever food was available in the farming community.  Many families did not have refrigeration until the mid-1900s.  My Great Aunt Hazel's favorite method of preserving game meat was by canning in glass jars.  A good share of their food was from bear, deer, elk, and other game around their farm.  I can recall having "rabbit stew" that later turned out to be porcupine.

One of my fondest memories was a stew that Aunt Hazel served from a bear that she shot on their farm near Cavendish, Idaho.  This bear happened to be a young one that had feasted on berries and was as tender as a grain fed calf.  Mixed with carrots, onions and potatoes and other veggies, it made "fine fixin's".