Todays post is part 4 in the series do-it-yourself survival rations. We have taken a look at Hardtack, Beef Jerky and Fruit Leather. Pemmican is a mixture of lean dried meat, dried fruit, honey and unsalted nuts with rendered fat. It makes for great survival food in the winter as the fat provides needed calories in a cold weather climate. Please note I have not tried recipe number 2 but include it as you can use tofu jerky in it for those vegetarians out there who might be interested.
- 4 cups lean meat (deer, beef, caribou or moose)
- 3 cups dried fruit
- 2 cups rendered fat
- Unsalted nuts and about 1 shot of honey
Meat should be as lean as possible and double ground from your butcher if you do not have you own meat grinder. Spread it out very thin on a cookie sheet and dry at 180 degrees F for at least 8 hours or until sinewy and crispy. Pound the meat into a nearly powder consistency using a blender or other tool. Grind the dried fruit, but leave a little bit lumpy for fun texture. Heat rendered fat on stove at medium until liquid. Add liquid fat to dried meat and dried fruit, and mix in nuts and honey. Mix everything by hand. Let cool and store. Can keep and be consumed for several years.
- 2 cups dates
- 3 cups powdered jerky (or powdered tofu-jerky)
- 2 cups raisins
- Honey (as a binding agent, add as much as needed)
- 2 cups nuts
Grind all this material together, except for the honey. Add in the honey a little bit at a time, and mix well each time. Pour into pan until about three quarters of an inch thick or make them directly into bars. Refrigerate and cut bars out of pan. This is a sweet concoction and in cold climates, honey can be replaced with suet and processed just as in pemmican recipe seen above.
Tips for making good pemmican
Here are some tips for you to improve your ability to use pemmican recipes properly, and make good pemmican:
- Talk to your local butcher to acquire the suet. A local co-op butcher might have the healthiest choices in terms of organic meats. You may be able to acquire the suet for free in certain places.
- When rendering (melting) the suet, be careful not to burn it or make it smoke.
- The warmer the climate you are going to be using the pemmican in, the less fat you need in it.
- This is also true for the time of year. Use less fat for the summer time, more for winter.
- Label what you make, especially if you try different recipes.
The key points for making pemmican are to make sure that you render the fat (suet) properly and to make sure that the meat and fruit you put into the recipe are very dry, not cooked or partially dry.
For further information, you might enjoy: