“Michael, these are the absolute best street tacos I have ever eaten. What in the world is this?’

“Take a look on the wall in the office.”

Greg and I walked upstairs, and I showed him the 6’2” bruin that he was thoroughly enjoying.

“Are you kidding me? This is THAT? I can’t believe I am eating a bear. I really can’t believe it is THIS good. You should open a restaurant.”

“Thanks Greg, that means a lot, especially knowing your love for good food, but imma pass on the restaurant idea.”


We toasted our tequila and lime over ice and laughed a bit.  And so was solidified that BEARbacoa would become a staple in our house.  In fact, this is the exact meal that I serve to dinner guests who want a wild game dinner. My only caveat, they can’t ask what animal they are eating until after they taste it.


For some reason many non-hunters, and even some hunters, are averse to bear meat.  This recipe will, without a doubt, make them true believers that bear is one of the absolute most delicious animals that you can eat. 



  • 2-4 Shanks (can also use shoulder/neck) – if using shanks saw in half to let marrow melt into the broth
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Cumin (to taste)
  • Garlic Powder (to taste)
  • Mexican Oregano (to taste)
  • 1 large yellow onion (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 2 qt beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cinnamon stick
  • 3 limes (juiced)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 beer
  • 2 T chipotle puree



  1. Rub shanks and other meat with salt, pepper, cumin, Mexican oregano, and garlic powder.
  2. Smoke meat at around 200 for 3-4 hours
  3. Dice onion and sauté until translucent in Dutch Oven
  4. Chop garlic cloves and add to chopped onion.
  5. Add to Dutch Oven: all additional ingredients.
  6. Add meat to Dutch Oven, make sure meat is covered with liquid.
  7. Use parchment paper and then foil on top of liquid and then add lid (this ensures minimal evaporation)
  8. Braise in 275 oven for 4-6 hours (I go 6).
  9. Pull meat and shred.
  10. Reduce liquid to consistency you desire (I like to go about ½)
  11. Add shredded meat back to broth.
  12. Make whatever the heck you want!
    1. Great in quesadillas, burritos, over rice. I like to quick pickle some red onion, add fresh radish, and a little fresh cilantro on 2 soft corn taco shells and squeeze a little fresh lime on it!

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