I recently was given a big ol’ black bear leg to prep for a wild game dinner. I have eaten bear before, but this was my first experience being able to prepare it! The meat was indeed fatty, like I had heard, but it smelled fine and had a nice color, similar to beef. First, I cut off as much fat as possible and then removed the meat from the bone by following the natural muscle lines with my knife. The meat will ultimately be cubed up for the recipe.
1 to 1.5 lbs. of lean, cubed bear meat
½ cup low sodium soy sauce
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1-2 Tbsp. brown sugar (adjust to your sweet preference)
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, mince (1 inch chunk)
or 1-2 tsp. dried ginger powder
Dash of cayenne pepper (adjust to your spice/heat preference)
Dash of black pepper
2 cups chopped veggies for stir fry, like broccoli, snow peas, carrots, peppers
or a bag of frozen stir fry veggies.
A day or two ahead of time, make the marinade by placing soy sauce, 1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper in a large zip-lock bag. Add the cubed bear meat to the bag and gentle squeeze the bag all over to massage the marinade into the meat. Place the bag in a bowl (in case it leaks a bit) and put in the refrigerator. Every now and then, squish/squeeze the bag to incorporate the marinade thoroughly into the meat.
When ready to cook, heat up 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bear meat from the bag and cook in the oil until nicely browned on all sides, add a bit of marinade to pan and continue cooking to a medium temperature, about 5 minutes more.
If using frozen veggies, cook them until just tender, according to package directions (can be done in the microwave). If using fresh veggies, cook until just tender, by stir-frying in another pan, steaming, or cooking microwave.
Add the veggies to the meat and stir to combine. There should be sauce from the meat, but if desired, you can add more teriyaki sauce for serving. Do NOT use the marinade that the raw meat was in unless it boils/cooks for at least 2 minutes.