There is a legend among a certain set of pastry chefs about the miraculous qualities of rendered bear fat in pastry. Well, it’s true. While these may be pretty classic buttermilk biscuits, they are the flakiest you will ever eat.
Few dishes speak to the heart of Hunan province in China as does red-cooked pork. It is a masterfully slow-cooked stew of pork belly, and in this case either wild boar or black bear belly, gently transformed into melting magic. It’s one of the best Chinese dishes on this site. I guarantee it.
Few sausages are as iconic as Polish kielbasa. There are as many variations as there are cooks — even an official government-approved recipe, which I used as my inspiration. This one is pure smoky awesomeness.
This is about as classic Italian as it gets… except I’m using bear shanks instead of veal. Osso buco is one of the best uses of any large shank, be it elk, moose, a big deer or pig, and yes, black bear. Call it “orso buco.”
Until this week I’d never eaten bear meat before. Now that I have, I can say it is every bit as good as pork or beef. Why then do I still feel ambivalent about hunting and eating bears?