Bear Cheesesteak Sandwich w/ Wild Blackberry Jalapeño Relish

Bear Cheesesteak Sandwich w/ Wild Blackberry Jalapeño Relish

Hold on to your hats kids, this is a tasty one!

After making these sandwiches for the HuntLeague + On Point Experience bear camp I knew I had to take them up just a notch. With the wild blackberries popping off here at the farm (and the berries being a popular food source for bears) it seemed like a fitting addition to this tasty dish. Add a little spice and flavor from some jalapeños and BOOM; taste bud nirvana!

The Ingredients

  • The Sandwich (makes 2 sandwiches)
    • 12oz of canned bear meat (How to can bear meat)
    • 1/2 white onion
    • 1 bell pepper
    • 4 slices american cheese
    • 4 slices provolone cheese
    • 2 rolls, whatever style you like
  • The Relish (makes ~ 6oz)
    • 2 cups of fresh blackberries
    • 2 jalapeños
    • pinch of salt

The Recipe

Prep your ingredients:

  • Wash berries and pat dry
    • Optional step: mash your berries then do a rough strain on it to remove some of the seeds
  • Dice your jalapeños do your desired size for the relish. I prefer a relatively fine dice.
  • Slice onion intro strips of desired thickness
  • Slice bell pepper into strips of desired thickness

In a medium pot, bring a neutral oil (bear oil if you have it, of course!) of your choice up to temp over medium heat.

Add in your diced jalapeños and cook for 2-3 minutes. Watch out for that jalapeño steam!

Add your berries to the pot, mash to your desired consistency of fruit chunks to juice... there is no right answer here, it all works! Blackberries are naturally high in pectin so the mixture will thicken simply by cooking it down.

Turn heat up to high until you start boiling then reduce to simmer. Stir regularly so that nothing burns on the bottom.

Simmer for 15-30 minutes, until the berry mixture begins to thicken. If you sample a bit with a spoon and can draw a line through it with your finger without that gap closing back up immediately, you're good to go! 

Add the relish into a small jar and set aside to cool. It will continue to thicken as it cools down.

On your preferred cooking surface (flat top grill, cast iron on stove, etc) bring a tablespoon of your neutral oil up to temp over medium-high heat.

Add in your sliced bell peppers and cook to your desired level of crunchiness. I prefer a little char on mine so I cook them at higher heat so they get a bit of char while maintaining a slight crunch. When your peppers are half-way done add in your onion.

As your veggies are cooking. Get your bear meat heating up (on the flat top or a separate pan).

With your bear meat hot, separate it into sandwich-sized portions. Add 2 slices of american cheese to each portion. Chop up the cheese and combine with each portion of bear meat.

Next, add in half of your veggie mixture to each meat portion and combine.

Once combined, top each portion with 2 slices of provolone cheese.

Open up your rolls and use them to cover each portion. This will help the provolone cheese to melt as well as heat up the bun. You can optionally add a splash of water to generate some steam to help the whole process along.

With the cheese melted, get your biggest spatula, slide it underneath, lift and flip the sandwich over using you non-spatula hand to hold the sandwich. 

With the sandwich on a plate, head back to your cooled blackberry jalapeño relish and add a generous scoop or two onto the sandwich.

Serve and enjoy!

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Here are some products we used or would recommend for this type of adventure!