Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Pemmican for Matt

I got to thinking about it, and I've been making this stuff for almost 40 years. I got the "recipe" from my Uncle Tommy who worked on the Alaska Pipeline with Haliburton oh so many years ago. I've made it with elk, moose, deer, beef and buffalo. I think we tried to make duck pemmican once, but the meat is so fatty it doesn't dry really well.

The key to pemmican is drying the meat thoroughly and getting the proper portions. You want a 50/50 mix between the dried shredded meat and the tallow. And you need to do it by weight, not volume. A cup of dried meat is not the same as 8 oz of dried meat. If you do a cup of meat and a cup of tallow, well yeah. Ick. Tallow is just rendered fat, clarified, and solidified. Think what's left over after frying bacon. Y'all all have that coffee can of bacon grease on your stove, right? Right????

So here it is:

Equal parts by weight of any dried meat and tallow.
Dried berries (think what the Indians used, blueberries, cranberries, etc.)
Sunflower seeds (optional)
Seeds and berries vary in proportion to the meat volume

I use a food processor to shred the dried meat and mix in the berries and seeds. Then I melt the tallow a little for better mixing with the dried ingredients. I also spread it in a shallow pan, press to condense, and the cut into strips or cubes for portion control. Uncle Tommy just tossed it into a bag and used it like loose tobacco, putting a pinch between his cheek and gum.

Storing is not an issue if you've dried the meat thoroughly. Hell, you can keep it in a candy dish indefinitely if that's your thing.


taminator013 said...

Not to be too technical, but tallow is rendered beef fat, bacon grease would be lard. Don't get me wrong, I love both. I buy blocks of lard to fry fish and chicken in. I wish that I could easily find tallow locally. That's what made the old time McDonald's fries taste the best. I think I read somewhere that their historical mixture was something like 95/5 tallow/oil. Okay, sorry for going off subject, but I love to proselytize on the virtues of grease, one of nature's perfect foods........................

pdwalker said...

How does it taste?

hiswiserangel said...

pd, it takes like really rich jerky.
It'll have the flavor of whatever meat you use.
And you can add spices to taste.

Anonymous said...


Thanks you so much, I can't wait to give it a try. The way the girls woof down my beef jerky, they'll be in on this like they're starving. Thanks for all your great posts.