State of Superior Cuisine

State of Superior Cuisine: Yooper Food

Yooper Food

Bear Meat

It's best to choose a fall kill rather than a spring, as the spring bear is too often parasitic from its long hibernation. Bear meat should always be boneless, and it requires a longer time for cooking than most other kinds of wild game. It requires parboiling, and should always be thoroughly cooked. It may be roasted like pork or buffalo meat, or it can be sliced into steaks and broiled or fried.

When cooking a bear steak or roast, do not stab the meat with a fork repeatedly, as this lets the juices out and, as bear meat tends to be on the dry side anyhow, this will only exacerbate that potential problem.


There are a couple of good ways to marinade bear meat.

  1. 1. Put the meat in a container of milk with lots of garlic, and leave in refrigerator overnight.
  2. 2. Put the meat in a container of Italian salad dressing, and leave in refrigerator overnight.

The meat should be submerged in the milk or dressing, and kept covered. It doesn't hurt to turn it every once in a while in order to thoroughly cover the meat with the marinade.


  • 3 lbs. bear steak, cut inch thick
  • 1 slice salt pork, cut up
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 habanero pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup steak sauce
  • 2 tbsp. tarragon vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper, course ground
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • tsp. ground cayenne pepper

Trim all fat from the bear steak and cut into 6 inch strips. Sear meat on all sides with salt pork in a heavy frying pan. Place meat in casserole dish/pan. Add the rest of ingredients to a frying pan and bring to a boil, while stirring constantly. Pour the sauce over the meat, cover, and bake for at least 2 hours in a 325 F oven, stirring occasionally until the meat is tender.

Corned Bear

  • 3 lbs. bear meat
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 quarts water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spices
  • cup canning salt
  • cup Mortens Tender Quick salt

Mix all of the ingredients, except for the bear meat, in a boiling pan. Heat them to boiling. Remove from heat and let it cool. Place in a one gallon Freezer zip-lock bag along with the bear roast. Squeeze the air from the bag and close. Place in refrigerator for 5-7 days, turning the mixture every day. Remove and drain liquid. Place roast in a Dutch oven. Add enough water to cover the roast. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat, simmering until tender, about 3-4 hours.

Meat Loaf

  • 2 lbs. ground meat
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup onion, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • cup milk
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • green pepper, finely chopped

Bake at 350 F for approximately one hour, or until done. When it looks like it is close to being done, spread barbecue sauce or ketchup over the top. Salt and pepper to taste.

  • 3 lbs. ground bear meat
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cups of bread crumbs
  • 3 cans French onion soup
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste

Drain the broth out of 2 of the cans of the French onion soup and set it aside. Put the other ingredients, except for the third can of soup, into a mixing bowl. Add the onions from the two cans of soup and mix well. Put into a roasting pan and pour the broth and the third can of onion soup over the top. Set the oven to 350 F and cook for 2 1/2 hours, or until done.





  • 4 lb. bear meat (roast)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp. dried tarragon, or to taste

Place meat in roaster, and marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight, turning often prior to bedtime. Remove from the marinade about 2 hours before cooking to allow the meat to come to room temperature. Strain the marinade and save the liquid to be used as gravy. Preheat the oven to 350 F, turning the roast and or steaks halfway through cooking time, about 3 hours. for a 4 1/2 lb. roast. To make the gravy, put the broth in a pan, bring to a medium boil, and add marinade liquid. To thicken, use 1/2 cup flour mixed with 1 1/2 cups of water, seasoned with celery salt, shake or stir well, and gradually pour into the pan, while stirring the mixture. Carve roast into 1/4 inch slices and place on platter pouring gravy over meat.

  • 4 lb. bear meat (shoulder roast)
  • 1 qt. canned tomatoes
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, quartered
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. Worchester sauce
  • 4 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 oz. Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • Salt, pepper, garlic, to taste

Trim the shoulder roast well. Rub well with salt, pepper and garlic. Coat a roasting pan with shortening, and rub some on the roast itself. Roast for one hour at 350 F. Add the green apples, quartered. Mix the other ingredients, except for the honey, in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Pour the honey over the roast, cover and cook for about 2 hours, or until very tender. Add water, as needed to make a rich gravy.


  • 30 lbs. ground bear meat
  • 12 lbs. ground pork butt
  • 3 lbs. slab bacon, ground
  • 6 tsp. red pepper
  • 15 tsp. garlic salt
  • 7 tsp. pepper

Mix all together. Fry in pan for breakfast sausage, good on pizza, and makes great meatballs as well.


  • 2 lbs. bear steaks
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 qt. tomato juice
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • tsp. celery seed
  • tsp. black pepper
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

Cook the meat until thoroughly cooked, using a slow cooker or crock pot. Drain off fat and add ingredients. Simmer for at least 4 hours.

  • 3 lbs. bear stew meat, cubed
  • 3-4 tbsp. flour
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery tips with leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 2-3 tbsp. lard, oil or bacon fat
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups red wine (or enough to cover)
  • tsp. marjoram
  • salt and pepper
  • tsp. powdered thyme
  • 1 tsp. Beef boullion powder (or 2 cubes)

Sprinkle meat cubes with salt, pepper, and half of the thyme. Coat heavily with flour. Using a Dutch oven or electric skillet, melt the fat and saute the meat cubes on all sides in several batches, so the pieces are not crowded. Remove cubes that are nice and brown, to make way for more. When all of the meat is browned, saute the onion, green peppers, carrots and celery in the same pan, adding more fat if necessary until onions are barely translucent. Return the meat to the pan, add the rest of the ingredients, and then cover and simmer for about 1-1/2 hours. Add water as flour absorbs the liquid from the meat cubes. This may need to be repeated.


  • 4 lbs. bear meat, cut in 1 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 lb. small potatoes
  • 1 lb. fresh mushrooms (if button size, do not slice)
  • 5 carrots, sliced
  • 1 turnip, cubed
  • 5 parsnips, sliced
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable or corn oil
  • 8 oz. beef broth
  • 4 bay leaves (do not eat)
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Place the flour and seasonings in a plastic bag, or other sealable container, and shake until the meat is coated. Combine the oil and butter in a skillet. Brown the meat and drain grease from the pan. In a large dutch oven, add 2 or 3 quarts of water and all other ingredients. Cook for about 2-3 hours, checking every half hour, adding water as needed.

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