June 2021 - 13

WILD KITCHEN
Chinese red
braised bear
This recipe calls for pork, but I use black
bear when I have it. Bear is a lot like beef
with a cap of pork fat on it. Black bears can
be so fat you can sometimes make bacon
out of the belly.
The only weird ingredient in this recipe
is star anise, widely available in most supermarkets.
If you can't find it, fennel seeds
work but a couple of drops of anise extract
would be better. Another unusual ingredient
is preserved garlic. You can leave it out or
fry a head's worth of garlic cloves in a few
tablespoons of oil to get somewhere close.
(Photo by Holly A. Heyser)
Hank Shaw hunts
and fishes across the
country, has penned
multiple wild game
cookbooks and keeps
an award-winning food
blog at honest-food.
net. His cookbooks are
available at the Game
and Fish Store.
Ingredients
2 pounds bear belly
2 tablespoons peanut oil or lard
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup Shaoxing cooking wine (or sherry)
1 inch piece of ginger, sliced thin
3 star anise pods
4 dried hot chiles
1 small piece of cinnamon
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cups Chinese stock, chicken stock or
water
5 scallions, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
8 to 10 cloves preserved garlic (optional)
Preparation
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Serves 4 people
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt
it well then boil the slab of belly for 5
minutes. Remove from the water and
set on a cutting board to cool. Save the
cooking water if you are not using stock
later for this recipe. Cut the meat into
cubes about 2 inches across.
2. In a wok, heat the oil and sugar over
medium heat until the sugar melts and
begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Add
the par-cooked bear belly and turn to
coat with the sugar-oil mixture. Add the
cooking wine and stir.
3. Pour in enough stock or cooking water
to almost cover the meat, then add the
star anise, ginger, chiles and cinnamon.
Cover and simmer gently over medium-to-low
heat until the meat is tender.
Check after 90 minutes. Taste the stock
and if it is getting too strong, remove
some of the spices.
4. Once the meat is getting tender but not
quite ready, add the soy sauce and taste
the stock. Add sugar if you want. The
stock should be a bit sweet. Cover again
and cook until the meat is practically
falling apart. Remove the meat and set
aside. Turn the heat up on the sauce to
reduce it. When the stock has reduced to
a sauce consistency, return the meat to the
pot and add the garlic if you're using it.
5. Add the scallions and cilantro and serve
at once.
Wyoming Wildlife | 13
https://honest-food.net/

June 2021

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