This is the tenderest bear cut. If you have managed to find bear meat that you know has been tested for trichinosis, you can cook it so the middle stays pink. (Otherwise the safe inner temperature is 65°C, which unfortunately will make your fillet well done and slightly dry.)
Keep in mind
The meat of the fillet is extremely tender and – unlike game joints – mustn’t be cooked at a low temperature because there’s a risk it will take on a sticky, doughy consistency.
This cut can be quite big if it comes from a fully-grown bear. Cut it along the fibers if you want to make cooking it easier.
How to cook bear fillet
Fry the evenly cut fillet whole in a cast iron frying pan. Don’t let it lie in one place in the pan for too long. Turn it frequently so the heat works its way into the meat. Once it has browned slightly, turn off the heat and let the meat reach 59-61°C* in the residual heat. Serve in slices cut across the fibers. Don’t over-complicate this great-tasting cut. Salt, pepper and a sprig of thyme work wonders.
The basics when cooking a game fillet or small steak:
- Fry the meat whole to retain the juices.
- Bring to room temperature and season in good time before cooking.
- Brown in oil and butter on a medium heat.
- Turn the meat constantly so the heat spreads evenly throughout.
- Use a quick and sensitive thermometer. Aim for 59-61°C.*
- Important: Give the meat enough time to rest and even out the heat, at least 10 minutes.
The tenderest cut of bear is great char-grilled. This keeps the center raw and juicy. Double-check that the meat has been tested for trichinosis! Then the method is as follows:
- Use a cast iron frying pan with no fat and make sure it is properly hot.
- Cook the fillet quickly at a high temperature, giving it a highly flavored, dry seared surface.
- Cut into thin slices and serve with a little flaked salt.
You’ll find more ideas for cooking game under cooking game.
* The advice is that bear meat should be heated to over 65°C. But if you’re sure it’s been tested for trichinosis, you can cook at a lower temperature for a much juicier and tastier result.
Bear fillet stuffed with diced chanterelles.