Kate’s cooking of beaver, bear, and moose, heat up the Wildfire kitchen!

Kate GoodingThis may have been the most fun I’ve ever had on our TV talk show Wildfire. Kate Krukowski Gooding, author of several exceptional wild game cookbooks, was our guest, so we moved into the studio’s kitchen where she prepared a dish she created just for the show: Wildfire’s Chipotle BBQ Black Fly Stew, with moose, beaver, and bear meat.

The shows airs for the first time tonight (June 21). While Kate prepared and cooked the dish, we talked about wild game cooking, including how difficult it is for her to procure wild game meat for her public presentations and cooking classes.

My co-host James Cote and I left the studio with containers full of the stew and big smiles on our faces! And everyone in the building came down to the kitchen to enjoy a taste. All agreed it was superb.

Each edition of Wildlife is aired on Time Warner cable station 9 on Tuesdays at 7 pm, Thursdays at 6:30 pm, and Sundays at 9:30 am. Each edition will air for two weeks, so you have no excuse for missing it! You can also access the show online anytime at www.vstv.me.

And please answer the question, posed on Wildfire and posted in the Sportsmen Say Survey section of my website, www.georgesmithmaine.com, about the issue of procuring wild game for commercial purposes. You can access the survey here. Thanks!


By Kate Krukowski Gooding (blackflystew.com)

There are no black flies in this stew however I really did make Black Fly Muffins, with real black flies, on the Maine segment of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. In this new recipe, specially created for George Smith and James Cote and their Wildfire television show, I brought many of my favorite things together.

My favorite meats, bear, beaver and moose, as well as spices, Mexican Oregano, Basil, Chipotle Sea Salt to create layers of flavor and texture.

¾ pound moose, ground

¾ pound beaver, chunked

½ pound bear, ground

4 tablespoons Chipotle Fiore Olive Oil, divided

2 cups sweet onions, chunked

8 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced

1 yellow sweet pepper, chopped

1 orange sweet pepper

6 cloves garlic, minced

3 teaspoons Mexican Oregano, ground (or regular oregano)

2 teaspoons basil, ground

1 teaspoon Chipotle Sea Salt

1 ½ cups Cellardoor Vineyards “Ned Said Red”

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 (18-ounce) Maine Beast Feast Chipotle BBQ Sauce

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

1 tablespoon sugar (with canned tomatoes)

8 ounces Mozzarella, shredded

Heat 2 tablespoons Olive Oil on medium-high heat. Add moose, then beaver and then bear, each separately, and cook through. Remove meat and set aside.

Add remaining Olive Oil, onions, mushrooms, peppers and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add oregano, basil, salt, wine, tomatoes, BBQ sauce and tomato paste. Bring to a boil then reduce to heat. Add meats back in and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. If you like a very thick stew, take cover off the last 15 minutes and it will naturally thicken.





George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.