A couple of weekends ago I made a visit to the family vacation house, where I found one of my grandmother's old cookbook treasures: the ninth printing of the 1950 edition of Gourmet Magazine's Gourmet Cookbook. (See picture.)
Many of the recipes are standard classics: a Caesar salad recipe that's the genuine article, all the mother sauces (with many of their daughters), basic consomme recipes, and so on. But there was one section in particular which moved me enough to abscond with the cookbook and bring it home with me on indefinite loan. From page 447:
The glossy black bear and the great brown bear enjoy vegetables, berries, fruit, and honey, as well as more carnal entrees, and bear flesh is rich, sweet, and delicious. It must be hung and marinated. After this treatment, bear may be cooked like beef steer, except that the neck and hindquarters are too muscular for good eating.This is something of a novel food idea for me, since I come from a family of farmers, not hunters. I married into a family of hunters, but they don't seem to have gone after bear (they focused mostly on deer, elk, mountain goat, and the like). The next four recipes in the book are for Bear Huntsman Style, Bear Steak Alexandre I, Bear Leg in Red Wine, and Bear Stew in Burgundy. I've eaten a few game animals in my day, but never had the chance to sample bear.
But now, if someone shows up at a get-together with a haunch of bear meat, I'll know how to prepare it. Smokey better watch out.