Pemmican for emergencies
Probably a majority of you have never heard of pemmican, this food was created by the Native American Indians and then it was discovered by the European explorers that settled this land. When it was first discovered by hunters and trappers it was commodity that was in high demand. The reason it was sought after was because Pemmican was great for traveling and it was easy to store for the cold hard winters.
The idea behind pemmican is to make sure that the meat is separate from the fat, some people call this rendering the fat from the meat. Once this is done the pemmican be stored without refrigeration in airtight containers and if done correctly it can be stored for years.
Steps for making your own pemmican
- Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature setting. While this is being done trim off all the fat from the meat and slice the meat as thin as you possibly can. Once sliced place the strips of meat on the oven rack and place in the oven. If you are looking for the meat to last a long time add a layer of salt to the meat. Once the meat is dry from the oven you will be able to crack the meat when you bend the pieces. Basically you are dehydrating the meat. Lean meat should be dehydrated somewhere between 100 – 115 degrees.
- Grind the meat is the next step. You will need a food processor or a good blender in order to do this. You will want to grind the meat to a powder. You may want to mix in nuts or dried fruit into the meat at this time. Just remember that if you do this it will reduce the shelf life of the meat.
- Render the fat. Take the cut off fat from the meat, or take pork lard and heat it on the stove in a pot or put it in a slow cooker and cook for several hours on low. Stir occasionally and keep cooking until the fat stops bubbling. Take the liquid and pour through a mesh strainer.
- Add the liquid fat. At this time slowly add one part fat to two parts meat and mix thoroughly. Do not use to much liquid fat as this could cause the meat to go rancid, the key is to mix just enough to moisten the mixture.
- Form the mixture. The way that I form my pemmican is to spread the mixture in a 9×13 casserole dish about the same thickness across the bottom of the dish. Let the mixture get firm and cut into bar size pieces. Some people like to take the mixture and form it into ball shapes. Taste the pemmican and if needed you may add salt to the bars or balls.
- Storage is easy. Once the bars are cut place them in airtight containers and store them in a cool, dark and dry location. If you prefer to store them in the freezer you can use storage freezer bags.
How much easier can it be. If you choose to make your own pemmican let us know how it went. If you have other options for your recipe feel free to add them in the comment section below.