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Black Bear Chili

4 lb Black bear roast, chopped into 1/4; dice
1/2 lb Bacon
2 tb Reserved bacon grease
2 md Onions, coarse chopped
2 cl Garlic cloves, minced
1 Bell pepper,seeded & chopped
4 tb Chili powder
2 ts Oregano, dried
1 tb Cumin, ground
1 [optional, cayenne or liquid hot sauce to taste]
1 cn Beer
1/2 cn Tomatoes & juice (14 oz)
1 ts Brown sugar
1 Masa harina [optional enough to thi; cken]


Partially feeze the bear roast to make the chopping/dicing easier. Carefully remove any and all visible fat as it gives any dish an unpleasant flavor. In a large bowl, sprinkle the diced meat with the chili powder, oregano, optional cayenne and cumin, stirring to mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the chili spices to marinade the meat.


Fry the bacon. Drain it on paper towels and cut into 1/2" pieces and reserve. Heat two tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and green pepper and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the diced and spiced bear meat to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is evenly browned. Add the beer, tomatoes, optional hot sauce and reserved bacon to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours. Add more beer [or tomato juice or beef stock] if neccessary to prevent sticking and scorching. Taste, adjust seasonings, and simmer for 2 hours longer. Add the brown sugar [ and a little Masa if the chili is too thin] and simmer for 15 minutes more.


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