Bear Pierogies with Caramelized Onions

Bear is not a meat people often think to eat. But as a chef and hunter I hunt to eat! So everything I hunt I eat, bear included.  Bear meat and bear fat are incredibly delicious. Now don't get me wrong Spring Bear meat is not as tasty as Fall Bear. Spring bears are just coming out of hibernation while fall bears have been feasting on berries so their meat is going to have more flavor. But that won't stop me from putting this beautiful meat to use. Yes you may have to doctor up spring bear with some spices and marinades, but thats okay. In this case, I had ground bear fresh from my trip. So a comfort dish was what came to mind. So Bear Pierogies with Caramelized Onions came about. I made plenty of extra to keep in he freezer. My toddler loved these, and they cook perfectly from the freezer to a put of boiling water. Now don't get me wrong you can make these beauties with any meat you would like, but they truly are delicious with bear.

Bear Pierogies with Caramelized Onions

By Bri Van Scotter of Wilderness to Table

 

Ingredients:

Dough:

·       1 large egg

·       1/4 cup sour cream 

·       1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

·       2 teaspoons olive oil

·       1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

·       2 cups all-purpose flour

 For the filling:

·       2 tablespoons unsalted butter

·       1 small yellow onion, quartered and thinly sliced

·       Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

·       1 teaspoon granulated sugar

·       ¼ Cup Port Wine

·       1 potato, cubed and cooked

·       1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

·       1 large garlic clove, minced

·       1/2 pound Bear meat, ground (I ground ½ pound bear backstrap with2 tablespoons of Bear Fat or Beef Tallow)

For assembling and browning:

·       1 large egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water

·       2 tablespoons unsalted butter

·       2 tablespoons olive oil

Caramelized Onions:

·      2 Yellow Onions, sliced thin

·      3 tablespoons butter

·      1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

Condiments:

·      Sour Cream

·      Italian Parsley, chopped

 Directions:

To make the dough:

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, water, olive oil, and salt. Add the flour and stir to combine.

Place the dough onto a floured work surface and gently knead just until the dough comes together. Add a tablespoon of flour if the dough feels too sticky. Do not overwork the dough. Transfer the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes.

To make the filling:

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, 1 teaspoon salt, and the sugar and cook until caramelized and brown, about 10 minutes. Add the port wine and stir to coat. Add the potato cubes, thyme, garlic and bear meat. Raise the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring to break up the meat until its cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble and cook:

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and dust with flour. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thick. Using a 3-inch biscuit or round cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds as possible. Press the scraps together, roll out the dough again, and repeat. You should get about 20 rounds.

Fill each pierogi with a scant 1 tablespoon of filling. Brush the edge of half the round lightly with the egg wash.

Fold the round in half, pressing the edges together and crimping them to seal.

Transfer the pierogies to the flour-dusted baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining rounds.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pierogi in batches, and cook until tender and they float to the top, 12 to 15 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.

To serve, warm half the butter and half the olive oil together in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the pierogi in batches until golden brown on both sides, adding more butter and olive oil as needed. Serve with caramelized onions, sour cream and chopped parsley.

Caramelized Onions:

In a cast iron skillet, add the onions, butter and salt. On medium –high heat cook the onions till they are golden brown. Stirring throughout. Approximately 20 minutes.

 

Charleston, South Carolina

Oh Charleston, how I fell in love with thee! We recently took a little trip to Charleston, South Carolina and it was absolutely wonderful! I fell in love with the southern charm of Charleston, so much so that I want to move there now! This charming city is such a fun place to be. Its beautiful, charming, clean and full of life. If you want outdoor adventures Charleston has it. If you want culture and art Charleston has it. But most of all if you want good food Charleston has it. In fact the hardest part of your trip to Charleston will be deciding where to eat! Charleston is an easy town to get around, but I suggest ditching the car and just walk down the cobble stone streets. 

We stayed at the coolest hotel with an amazing location called The Vendu. Its modern yet still full of charm and history. The whole hotel is also an art gallery so there are lots of beautiful pieces of art all around. They even have mixology classes you can take and free Starbucks in the morning! LOL!

But here is a short list of things I fell in love with while in Charleston, I'll be sure to update it soon because I know I'll be going back as much as possible!

Eats:

Callie's Charleston Biscuits- Holy Amaze-Balls, this is the BEST breakfast spot. I recommend getting the Biscuit with Sausage and Egg and a jar of Spicy Pimento Cheese dip to enjoy later!

Husk Restaurant - Be sure to make a reservation ahead of time!

Belgian Gelato - Yes this is real and its Heaven! Order the Affogato!

Sour Cream Doughnuts

On my recent trip to Canada, besides getting a Black Bear, I was most excited about getting Tim Hortons Coffee and doughnuts. When my husband and I were in Germany, we would go to Tim Hortons in the morning and grab a cup of coffee and a doughnut. I quickly became the biggest Tim Hortons fan. Living back in the states we don't have the Tim Hortons chain here, and I'm not quite sure why? Its much better than some well known coffee shops.  

Well during my trip to Canada, I may have drove right out of the airport and straight to Tim Hortons, I was that excited. And yes I may have visited Tim Hortons at least 4 others times while I was there. But hey they extra doughnut pounds I gained were well worth it! But before I started to burn off those excess calories I had one last craving for the beloved sour cream doughnuts I love so much. So I made my version and I will admit they were equally delicious. I even bought Tim Hortons coffee grounds at London Drug while I was there to take home. So I enjoyed a beautiful cup of dark roast coffee and sour cream doughnuts. Ahhh....delightful!

Sour Cream Doughnuts

just like Tim Hortons

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 2¼ cups White Lily All-Purpose Flour
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ⅔ cups sour cream
  • canola oil for frying

Vanilla Glaze:

  • 3½ cups Confectioner's Sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon Lyle's Golden Syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon hot water, ( more if needed to reach desired consistency)

Directions:

  1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl,  set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the sugar and shortening for 1 minute on low speed, until sandy. Add the egg yolks, then mix for 1 more minute on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is light coloured and thick.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three separate additions, alternating with sour cream, mixing until just combined on low speed and scraping the sides of the bowl each time. The dough will be sticky, like cookie/biscuit dough.
  4. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, for 45 minutes (or up to 24 hours).
  5.  In a deep fryer, bring canola oil up to 325°F/165°C. Roll out the chilled dough on a generously floured counter or cutting board to ½ inches thick, or about 4 inches in diameter, flouring the top of the dough and the rolling pin as necessary to prevent sticking. Cut into as many doughnuts and holes as possible, dipping the cutter into flour before each cut. Fold and gently reroll the dough to make extra holes.
  6. Shake any excess flour off the doughnuts before carefully adding them to the hot oil a few at a time, taking care not to crowd them. Once the doughnuts float, fry for 15 seconds, then gently flip them. Fry for 75 to 90 seconds, until golden brown and cracked, then flip and fry the first side again for 60 to 75 seconds, until golden brown. Transfer to a rack set over paper towels.

Black Bear Hunt - British Columbia, Canada

Crystal blue skies, rocky mountains and bears! All things I experienced on my trip to British Columbia Canada! While I'd LOVE to tell you all about my Amazing trip and how I took my very first bear. I can't! Ya'll will have to wait for it to come out in the Spring 2018 Issue of Ballistic Magazine! ;-) Sorry to burst your bubble, but ya'll will want to pick up your copy to see how awesome my hunt was. 

But what I can (and will) talk to you about is the outfitter I went on this hunt with Covert Outfitting. I experienced taking my very first Black Bear with Covert Outfitting. I can't tell you what a joy the guides at Covert Outfitting are! I learned so much about bears, their habits and environment. It was a trip I will never forget. And I can't recommend Covert Outfitting enough. 

Covert Outfitting: www.covertoutfitting.com

Raspberry Myer Lemon Clafoutis

These easy Raspberry Myer Lemon Clafoutis Recipe will make you look like a pastry chef in an instant! This recipe is easy to make at home and super easy to make while camping as well. While traditionally Clafoutis are made with Cherries, I think the raspberries are even better! But the great thing about this recipe is to try to switch it up. Try using fruit that is in season whether its peaches, plums or nectarines.

Raspberry Myer Lemon Clafoutis

by Chef Bri for Wilderness to table

Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 TBS Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 3 TBS Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • Finely grated zest of 1 whole Myer Lemon
  • 1/4 Cup of Whole Milk
  • 2 TBS Myer Lemon Juice
  • 1 Pint Fresh Raspberries
  • Confectioners Sugar for dusting

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350F.

In the bowl of a mixer add all the ingredients except the raspberries and confectioners sugar. Blend on low till everything is smooth and well combined.

Butter a large cast iron pan or 4 individual cast iron pans and dust them with granulated sugar, be sure to tap out any extra sugar. Then gently pour the batter equally into the pan or pans. Then place the raspberries equally throughout the batter. Place the pans in the oven and bake for about 30 mins for a large pan and about 20-23 minutes for individual pans, bake until the clafoutis is set and slightly golden. Let it cool slightly then dust with confectioners sugar. If you baked a large one, you can slice the clafoutis and serve or serve out of the pan for the individual ones.

When Camping:

To make these while camping, no need to use a blender, just whisk everything together in a bowl, pour into a cast iron pan and add the fruit. Then cook on top of a grill or fire in a lower heat area. Cover with a piece of foil and poke 3 holes in the foil to vent. Cook till set.

 

Items Used:

Lodge Cast Iron Mini Skillet

Click to purchase the Lodge Cast Iron mini pans that I used for this recipe!

Click to purchase the Lodge Cast Iron mini pans that I used for this recipe!