This Black Bear recipe is a really tasty sandwich that is cooked similar to the traditional Portuguese sandwiches “Bifana” normally made with thin slices of pork. We hope you give this a try, recipe and directions below!
Prep Time: 20 min +24 hr. marinade
Cooking Time: 60-75 min
1 Bear Loin, trimmed of large pieces of fat, cut into 12-16, 1/2″-thick cutlets and lightly-pounded with a flat-sided meat mallet to a thickness of 1/4″
2 Large Sweet Onion (sliced)
1 Cup Chicken Stock
2 Tbsps. White Wine Vinegar
4 Tbsps. + 1/4 Cup Sweet Pimiento Paste (Massa de Pimentao)
2 Tbsp. + 1Tbsp Peri-Peri Sauce, hot or mild (We like hot)
4 Bay Leaves
1/4 Tsp. Smoked Paprika
White Rolls, soft in the middle a little crunchy on the outside
Sliced Banana Peppers
Directions – Making the Marinade
1.Slice the bear loin into 1/2” cutlets, then working one at a time, place on a large piece of plastic wrap, cover cutlet with the plastic wrap, pound using a meat mallet until you get about 1/4” thick. This step is important as it breaks down the fibers to make the meat nice and tender.
2.To make the marinade mix together: Paprika, 2 Tbsp. Peri-Peri Sauce and 4 Tbsp. Sweet Pimento Paste. Place marinade in a plastic bag and add sliced and pounded bear loin cutlets. Refrigerate for at least several hours but preferable a full 24hr.
1. About 1-2hrs before you are ready to cook, remove the bear out of the refrigerator and let it come up to room temp.
2. Preheat large cast iron pan to medium heat. Add some oil and saute the onions with S&P, stirring often unit the onions get nice and caramelized, this should take a bout 15-25min. When Onions are done, transfer them to a bowl.
3.Remove 6-10 cutlets from the marinade, dry the cutlets with some paper towels. Warm up the same cast iron pan you cooked the onions in to med-high heat, add a good amount oil. Once oil is hot season the cutlets with S&P and brown on both sides, turning only once, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Do not overcook and do not over crowd the pan. Once done remove cutlets and continue cooking in batches until all cutlets are browned.
4.Once all of the cutlets are cooked, add 1/4 Cup of the Pimiento Paste, 1 Tbsp. Peri-Peri Sauce, 1 Tbsp. White Wine Vinegar, 1 Cup Chicken Stock, and the 4 Bay Leaves to the hot drippings in the pan. Cook for a few minutes, stirring up all the brown bits from pan and bringing it all up to a hard simmer. Then add the meat and onions back to the panned toss to combine, taste and season if necessary. Let simmer over low heat covered lightly for 15-20min to let the sauce thicken and the meat finish cooking.
5.Then assemble sandwich, butter bread, add some yellow mustard, top with cutlets and onions and some of that thick sauce and some hot banana peppers.
Recipe by Michael E. Higgins