So i received three bear roasts from a friend who got them from a hunter. I traded him restaurant credit for 10 lbs of meat and we made it together. I had no idea what to expect from this meat. It was brought to me frozen and wrapped in butcher paper. i had it sitting in my freezer for a week before we made it. It felt like when my parents would put christmas presents out early and you'd have to wait days before you got to open them and see what was inside. I tried shaking the frozen meat but that didn't really give me any hints as to what was inside.
The day finally came when it was time to open up this early christmas present. The meat was a deep red with the whitest fat marbling i had ever seen. It looked and smelled as if the bear had just been skinned it was surreal. I didn't know what bear would smell like but when i did take a wiff it was exactly what i would have thought bear smelled like. It was gamey, but not in a lamb way, not in a bison or deer way either just bear. I had thoughts of it smelling like honey but perhaps thats from watching too many cartoons as a kid. One thing i worried about was whether it would smell like fish or berries, depending on what its diet was prior to its last breath. It would suck to have hints of lake trout in a bear salami. I concluded after many wiffs that it was perfect for curing. Unfortunately there wasn't any big meaty loins for making bearsola but i did manage to salvage a few small pieces. The rest got ground up for salami. I decided to do it in hog casings because i wanted to taste it as soon as possible. Both the salami and bearsola got bear minimal seasonings as i want to taste the bear meat with just the addition of salt, pepper and a little garlic powder.
I'm very excited about the outcome and will report back as soon as its ready.