Last weekend, I went bear hunting. It was an incredible experience — so incredible, in fact, that I now feel like the bear’s energy is coursing through me.
To make a long story short (you can read the full story here), I’m a nature conservationist, encouraging people to eat grass-fed beef and organic produce… So, I knew that if I was going to hunt, I’d do it in a way that wouldn’t hurt the animal.
I was lucky because I got to go hunting with Stéphane Monette (for those who don’t know him, Stéphane is a real nature encyclopedia; he can easily talk about butterflies, mushrooms, leaves, or trees in one breath. House of BBQ Experts also collaborated with him on the House of BBQ Experts x Monette Outdoor’s dry rubs — really great products that elevate game meat as well as beef, chicken or turkey, for example). Stéphane, a subject matter expert, described the steps well and mentally prepared me to hunt (he also explained to me, among other things, that hunting bear was a good thing because they don’t really have natural predators). I was indeed very happy when I saw I had successfully shot the bear and that he had died on the spot; I didn’t want him to suffer.
Anyway, now that all this is over, I’m still on a big high and I couldn’t wait to share with you a recipe for bear meat (which, by the way, is considered by all hunters to be the best meat because of its fat content and tenderness)!
Here is a great way to make bear backstrap, also considered to be this beautiful animal’s “filet mignon”:
- Thermometer (if you are working with bear meat, you absolutely must use a thermometer when cooking. Because the bear can potentially carry bacteria, you need to be sure to remove it)
- 100 ml bear fat (or butter), melted
- Bear backstrap, whole
- House of BBQ Experts x Monette Outdoor’s Yukon (or Montreal-style)* dry rub, to taste
- House of BBQ Experts x Monette Outdoor’s Appalachian Dry Rub, to taste
- House of BBQ Experts x Monette Outdoor’s Dawn dry rub, to taste
- House of BBQ Experts Maple Bourbon Sauce, to taste (optional)
Grilling Instructions :
- Preheat your BBQ to 225°F
- “Pull” the melted bear fat (or butter) into the injector syringe and inject it into the backstrap, about every inch, until it is plumped up**.
- Sprinkle the Yukon (or Montreal) dry rub over the entire piece of meat (as though it were a steak) and rub it on all sides.
- Sprinkle both sides of the meat with the Appalachian dry rub, then a little bit of the Dawn dry rub on the fatty parts (still on both sides).
- Place the meat in the BBQ’s indirect cooking zone and let it cook until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 170°F***.
- When the meat has reached the right temperature, turn up the heat to its highest setting and grill on both sides to give it a nice caramelization.
- Brush the backstrap with the Maple Bourbon sauce when it’s almost done cooking to give it a little sweetness (optional).
- Serve and enjoy every bite!
* If you do not have the House of BBQ Experts x Monette Outdoor’s Yukon dry rub, which was developed for bear meat, the Montreal-style dry rub is a good substitute because it was actually the base for the Yukon dry rub.
** For an even better result, the Appalachian dry rub can also be added to the fat.
*** This can be time-consuming, so a WiFi-powered BBQ, like the Camp Chef Smokepro SG24, is very convenient because it allows you to check the meat’s internal temperature at any time, right on your smartphone. So, there’s no need to stick around for the entire cooking process. Otherwise, I recommend cooking the meat until it has an internal temperature between 170 and 200°F. A temperature of 170°F produces a tender, steak-like result, and 200°F is ideal for pulling the meat apart.