Bear Carnitas

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Yes, you read that correctly. My son was gifted with some bear meat, so I volunteered to cook it for him (none of us had tried it). My mind usually goes to Mexican when I think of cooking meat and I was really leaning toward carne asada or colorado but I wanted to be able to taste the meat. So, I settled on this simple already-loved recipe.

Here’s the link (for those who do not know, if I post a recipe, I only post the ingredients. You have to visit the link to read their instructions).

http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/michoacan-style-pork-carnitas/

  • 18 pounds bone-in pork shoulder (skin-on picnic shoulder is a good choice, too), cut into 2-pound chunks
  • 1/2cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2cup salt
  • About 4 gallons lard or vegetable oil
  • If using vegetable oil: 1pound piece of slab bacon, cut it into 6 or 8 pieces

First: I did not have 18 pounds of bear meat. I had maybe two. So, all quantities were adjusted accordingly (just sprinkled with salt). Second: I used lemon juice because that’s what I had. I also cooked it in beef fat (with about a cup of bacon grease) because I just rendered a bunch a few months ago. Third: I used my crock pot on high for the first step of cooking. For the final step, I got lazy and just tossed the meat under the broiler to crisp up.

I let the meat cook in the crock pot for about 5 hours, until the meat broke apart with a little force. I drained it on paper towels, transferred it to an old pie pan and threw it under the broiler for a few minutes.

I was surprised by the flavor! Hank Shaw described bear’s flavor as beefy pork or porky beef and he was right! I love it! I did not add any other seasoning to this meat and it’s perfect. So, If I could eat all of this (it’s going home with my son after he gets off work), it would be in a bowl with grated cheese, salsa, diced onion, cilantro (see? Fruit AND vegetables), and sour cream.

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Split Pea and Green Pea Soup with Fresh Dill

This is a rarity for me: a Vegan recipe!  I know, don’t faint.  🙂

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Split-Pea-and-Green-Pea-Soup-with-Fresh-Dill-236775

Ingredients

    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 large leek (white and pale green parts only), chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
    1 bay leaf
    1 cup green split peas, rinsed
    5 3/4 cups vegetable broth, divided

    1 cup frozen petite green peas, thawed
    5 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided

Homemade Corned Beef

I can’t believe I didn’t post about this!  I made homemade corned beef last year, leaving out the sugar and the pink salt, and it was fantastic!  I thought, well, I could make this, then can it so I know exactly where it came from and what was in it.  I haven’t gotten around to canning this because it usually doesn’t last that long!

Anyway, if you are interested (I wanted to see if I could and I did), here is how I did it:

http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/beef/home_made_corned_beef.html

And here is how to can it (ever since I canned that chicken, I prefer raw canning meats):

http://canninggranny.blogspot.com/2011/05/canning-corned-beef-brisket.html

There you go!  Give it a shot (even if you only do one).  It really wasn’t as difficult as my brain said it would be!

Chile Rellenos

This is my mom’s recipe for chile rellenos.  She usually uses Ortega canned chiles but these are so good with freshly roasted and peeled peppers!

Chile Rellenos (4 rellenos, serves two)

  • 4 Anaheim chiles, roasted and peeled (canned Ortegas work OK)
  • 3-4 oz. Monterrey jack cheese (or whatever kind of cheese you prefer)
  • Red Chile Sauce (or canned chile enchilada sauce)
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • a pinch of salt

In a large frying pan, heat  approximately 1/2-inch of oil on medium high.

Remove the chiles from the can.  Rinse and dry thoroughly (if using freshly roasted chiles, be sure to thoroughly dry them).  Stuff the chiles with the cheese.  Beat the whites of the eggs until stiff but not dry; mix salt and yolks, then fold in the yolks, being sure not to deflate the egg whites.

Dip the stuffed chile in the egg mixture, ensuring it is completely coated.  Slowly add to the hot oil.  Cook on one side until lightly brown, then turn.  Cook for another minute or so.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.  To serve, place on a plate and spoon warm Red Chile Sauce over each relleno.

To make these extra wonderful, cube some pork roast, brown lightly, then stew in the Red Chile Sauce.  Spoon this over the rellenos.

Nutrition Facts

Calories    233.1, Total Fat    14.6 g, Cholesterol    267.7 mg, Sodium    458 mg, Total Carbohydrate    11.3 g (Dietary Fiber    2.8 g, Sugars    4.3 g), Protein    14.7 g, Vitamin A    75.7 %,  Vitamin C    16.8 %,  Calcium    3.5 %