A friend gave us several cuts of bear a few months back, and since I have never cooked it before, I hit the internet. What I mostly found were a lot of really dumb comments about cavemen, gamey meat, tough meat, etc. - from people who 'heard' about it, or were guessing. Seriously? It's a meat, guys, just like cow or pig.
I made the bear roast for Thanksgiving (in addition to turkey), and it was so good there wasn't much left! The taste of bear meat supposedly depends on what it eats. This bear lived in southern NM, and probably ate both meat and plants. It wasn't gamey at all - and we have eaten several cuts of it now. The meat itself does not have a strong flavor, and isn't tough. I have done the roasts in a slow cooker, but we cooked backstrap in the oven (stuffed with cheese and peppers, wrapped in bacon...yum!), and that wasn't tough either. The only thing I wasn't impressed with was the bear sausage, which had little flavor - the next time I cook it, I will probably add some of the same seasonings as I do to the roasts, and simmer it for a while.
Here is the basic recipe I followed for the roast, although I don't use exact measurements:
1 bear roast
1 can beer
1 head garlic, separated into cloves
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
(Optional - chunk up some onions and spread them around the roast)
1. Melt butter in frying pan and sear roast on all sides.
2. Cut slits all over and stick garlic cloves in (or you can also just sprinkle with minced garlic from a jar, if you are lazy like I was the second time)
3. Place in slow cooker and pour beer over top.
4. Sprinkle with other ingredients.
5. Cook on high for about two hours, then on low 4-5 hours more.
That's it! Basically how you might cook a beef roast, although you want to think of it like pork in terms of done-ness (like pork, bear meat can have trichinellosis). It smells SO GOOD, you will be tempted to taste early, just make sure the internal temp is 160 degrees (as per CDC). As you can see, it is falling apart in the end, and the flavor is amazing (as per local critics!)