Cooking

How to cook bear meat? About the real holiday of the belly

When I was going to Karelia, all our men unanimously told me: “What are you, Kostyan … This is a hungry land! Still have checks? Go to the Albatross and buy some smoked sausage. And into her container. Autumn is already. Will not deteriorate. All business that will become a little harder. ”

I just waved my hand at this: “Come on, all of you… Forest! Hunger than in the Novgorod region, where I had my internship in a training course … It won’t be! Some gray pasta and margarine in stores. That’s the whole assortment of any grocery. So what? He did not starve to death. Here, I stand before you. Alive and relatively healthy. ”

And the truth is, there was nothing so terrible in Karelia. “But how’s there no meat? What’s this on the counter? ” “So these are chickens.” “And what, chickens are not meat ?!” It turned out, no, chicken, for a Karelian – not meat. The meat should not be white. Red. Kenguryatina there, mutton, beef. Pork.

Yes, there was no such “red” meat at that time, at the very end of the 80s, in Karelian grocery stores. But … Even then there were not only state shops. That’s the same … Raipovsky. And in it … Bear meat. Take it – I don’t want to. Apparently, then Okhotsoyuz, issuing a license to shoot the animal, stipulated that the miner must hand over some of the carcass to the store for sale. Or maybe the Raypotrebsoyuz itself bought meat from the hunters. What’s the difference? It is important that this is it, meat. Lies on the counter. Buy whoever wants.

The only thing is that his price was three times higher than that of the same pork or beef in a state store. But that, if it is there. And she’s not there! And they paid me at the sawmill … decently. And then why can’t I, a respectable gentleman, afford a kilo and a half of bear meat a couple of times a month? I can.

You will drop into the Raipovsky’s, buy some bear meat … And in addition to it, some bacon. Here, also lies. Free. You want – just bacon. Do you want – home-style bacon. This is when black pepper is laid on top of it, as thick as my middle finger. Scraped it off … And if you also buy “Hungarian bacon”, which is the same thickness with ground red pepper … Scraped off both this and this – and there will be a family for a couple of years with spices.

In general, I came home … I twisted the bear meat in a meat grinder. For minced meat – saltso, onion, a piece of a bar soaked in milk, a couple of cloves of garlic. Testicle. I added it. Perchik. Fortunately, there is enough of him in the house. You want black, you want red. I formed cutlets, rolled them in a flour and – in a frying pan.

These are the cutlets! And they don’t smell like a bear. Very appetizing from them … The color, however, is not quite traditional. Bear meat cutlets are very dark, almost black. But I can’t redraw “Malevich’s Square” from them. And they taste … Not at all worse than any other cutlets. Beef over there. Or pork. Normal cutlets!

That’s how I met that bear meat. But then the market started. And the very abundance of food fell on our head, to which we still cannot get used to. Look, this spring the whole country again bought buckwheat with toilet paper.

And as the abundance began, I forgot about the bear meat. What is it to me when the same kenguryat in the store … in bulk!

The other day, the guys brought me a bear leg
Photo: Konstantin Kucher, personal archive

But the other day the guys brought me a bear leg. Last fall they shot him on oats. And this summer another got into the habit of visiting them in the apiary. He breaks the hives, the bees beat down. And most importantly, all the honey of this year’s harvest was smashed into one face. And who will tolerate such an outrage? So the guys decided to free up the freezer a little. And they lied to me. You, they say, Alekseich, do not even doubt it. The meat is wonderful. No parasites. Here, you see, the oval stamp of the Veterinary Control. Everything is checked.

And they got away. Back to our own, that is, our, Karelian forests. They have not only hives, bees, oats … Fishing there. And I stayed with this leg. And what am I to her?

I cut my leg into three parts with a regular hacksaw
I cut my leg into three parts with a regular hacksaw
Photo: Konstantin Kucher, personal archive

No, for a start, of course, I figured the pepper to my nose, measured the diameter of my largest pot with a ruler, sawed my leg into three parts with an ordinary hacksaw on a tree with small teeth. I immediately threw two into the freezer, and with the third piece – what to do? Of course, it is possible for old memory and cutlets. Only … Age is no longer the same to turn the handle of a meat grinder. Moreover, I just sawed. Already and a little tired.

Therefore, I threw a cry across the vastness of different messengers like “Watsap”: “Does anyone have an interesting recipe with bear meat in their bosom?” And a couple of minutes have not passed. The Luhansk men sent me. They have those bears in Ukraine … So men know a lot. Moreover, former classmates. But I have long since tied up with those forests, and they still protect them from fires and from various pests. Well, and understand, respectively. In bear meat there, badger meat, wild boar meat, roe meat. And others like them.

I read that recipe … And I liked it. I started to implement it.

The first thing he did was cut off the bone … so that something remained on it. Then I’ll clarify the recipe for the soup.

I smeared the bear meat with honey, and then mustard, at the rate of a tablespoon of both per piece
I smeared the bear meat with honey, and then mustard, at the rate of a tablespoon of both per piece
Photo: Konstantin Kucher, personal archive

I separated four loin pieces from the bone. Each turned out to be 500-800 grams. I salted them, rubbed spices into the meat. I waited a little, about five to ten minutes. And he smeared each piece … Well he smeared, rubbing thoroughly, first honey, then mustard – at the rate of a tablespoon of both per piece. I put the meat in an enamel bowl, covered it with a lid on top to keep the bear meat from getting aired, and put it on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.

Wrapped each piece in foil and - in their oven, preheated to 120 degrees
Wrapped each piece in foil and – in their oven, preheated to 120 degrees
Photo: Konstantin Kucher, personal archive

Meat should be marinated for at least a day. Naturally, during this time it will not be superfluous to get the bowl out of the refrigerator once or twice and turn all the pieces from one side to the other, swap them. And as time runs out, each piece is wrapped in foil and into the oven, preheated to 120 degrees.

Yes, I almost forgot. Before wrapping the already well-marinated meat in foil, I took four cloves of garlic (one per piece), cut each into 3-4 slices and, making several narrow but deep cuts in the meat with a narrow knife, stuffed them with bear meat.

The guys wrote that meat should be cooked somewhere within an hour. But I remembered how we cooked elk in Kovdor in about the same way. And it took us two or two and a half hours to do it. I decided that the elk and the bear are from the same forest, so it won’t be worse if I bake the meat a little longer than the Ukrainians recommended to me. And he pulled out the baking sheet from the oven only after a little over two hours.

The meat turned out ... Soft, juicy and ... Very tasty!
The meat turned out … Soft, juicy and … Very tasty!
Photo: Konstantin Kucher, personal archive

And he was right. The baked meat turned out … Soft, juicy and … Very tasty! And what aroma was in the kitchen …

So, if suddenly a piece of bear meat falls into your hands, remember this recipe. And it will be a present for you from the Ukrainian foresters and – to some extent – from me … A real holiday of the belly!

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