I found a Native American Pemmican Recipe inside The Lost Ways Book that is so good, I decided to share it with you today. Make sure that you bookmark this page because I’m going to give you the exact step-by-step instructions that’s inside the book. This is the “ORIGINAL” pemmican recipe used by Native Americans hundreds of years ago. I’m also going to share a short video with you so you can see exactly how it’s done.
Pemmican is a concentrated and nutritionally complete food that was invented by North American Plains Indians centuries ago. They traditionally made pemmican during the summer months and used dried lean buffalo, elk or deer meat and rendered fat as a way to preserve and store for later use. Buffalo meat was in abundance on the North American Plains so buffalo meat was used to make pemmican most of the time but other meats were used as well.
It was used for a primary food source when traveling and during hard lean winter months. It wouldn’t be long until early American settlers discovered pemmican. Pemmican became a highly sought after commodity for frontiersman, explorers, trappers and hunters alike. In the 19th century, British Soldiers were required to have iron rations of 4 ounces of pemmican. Some of these iron rations were found intact and was still edible 50 years later.
As the American frontier started expanding west, there was an instant supply and demand for pemmican. The Hudson Bay Company started purchasing tons of pemmican from Native American tribes yearly all throughout the territories. The Native American seal pemmican in animal hides with rendered animal fat. Each bundle approximately weighed 90 pounds and could be preserved for many, many years in its’ original packaging. You could say that pemmican helped settle the American Wild West too!
Although many pioneers bought pemmican from the Hudson Bay Company for their journey west. Many pioneers also made their own pemmican before and during their trip. Traveling from the American Colonies to the far reaches of the frontier could take as long as 6 to 12 months. Take a look at the video below and see how the Native American Indians and early American settlers made pemmican. This is the same exact recipe in The Lost Ways Book and the same pemmican recipe I’ll be sharing with you today.
How To Make Your Own Pemmican – This Is The ORIGINAL Pemmican Recipe – The Lost Ways
You just learned how to Make Your Own Pemmican and as you can see. It’s not that hard to do as long as you can follow directions. I hope that you enjoyed that awesome video as much as I did. He does make it look real easy to make pemmican in the video but keep in mind that it’s time lapsed. Now that you got a peek inside the pemmican recipe. I’m going to go in depth and give you the whole Native American Pemmican Recipe found inside The Lost Ways Book.
I will literally take you by the hand and go step-by-step so you won’t miss a thing complete with color illustrations from the book. You will not find a more complete pemmican recipe for FREE anywhere online. So, before we get started, we are going to cover a few things that will help you get off to a running start and give you a complete understanding of what you’re doing before you ever get started. This is a fool proof way to make the BEST pemmican possible.
Important Note: It is extremely important that the lean meat you use be dehydrated at a temperature below 120°F and between 100°F and 115°F is ideal. Dehydrating the meat at temperatures above 120°F will actually start cooking the meat and will severely compromise the nutritional value of the pemmican.
Commercial dried meat products like beef jerky are required by Federal and State laws to be cooked at a temperature well above 150°F. This method cooks the meat to a well done state which makes it totally useless to make pemmican with. The point is, do NOT substitute these kinds of meats to make your pemmican. Pemmican is the “ULTIMATE” survival food for a reason. Don’t take short cuts!
This Pemmican Recipe has nutritional qualities that are second to none when it is made correctly. This super food is so nutritious, you could eat it for months and even years without suffering any nutritional deficiencies. That’s right! You read that line correctly. You can survive without vegetables, grains fruits or dairy products and still maintain your health.
All you need is properly made pemmican and clean water and you can survive for years. A lack of vitamin C and scurvy are always brought up as a concern. However, Native Americans, Pioneers, hunters and explorers alike have demonstrated time and again that consuming raw meat or meat dehydrated at a temperature below 120°F is safe.
As long as there is sufficient fat present which will supply enough calories to maintain perfect health and will prevent and cure scurvy too. Believe it or not, those of you that eat salted preserved meat and processed foods have a better chance of dying from nutritional deficiencies and scurvy. Another major concern is calcium and weak bones.
It is believed due to massive advertising campaigns that the dairy industry would have you believe that you need milk, cheese and other dairy products in order to maintain bone density. This has been proven to be a myth! As long as you maintain a meat and fat diet from an animal that is allowed to eat a grass diet. Our bones continue to develop normally and remain strong without deterioration.
For the BEST quality pemmican make sure that you use red meat such as bison, deer, elk, beef etc. It is also extremely important to use the rendered fat from these animals. These animals should be grass fed or eat their natural diet in the wild. NEVER EVER add vegetable products, seeds, nuts beans, grains or dairy products of any kind to the pemmican recipe.
You can add a small amount of dehydrated berries such as Saskatoon berries, blueberries, strawberries etc. If you do decide to add any one of these berries. It’s important to note that you should never exceed 5% by weight of the pemmican. Make sure that you follow these instructions or you will not make your pemmican properly. Now that we got that out of the way, lets get started!
The most important thing to remember is to use equal amounts by weight of very dry red meat and rendered beef tallow. For example, if you have one pound of red dried meat, you’ll need one pound of rendered beef tallow or two pounds of red dried meat and two pounds of rendered beef tallow and so on.
1. Rendering The Fat
This part of the process is a lot easier than you think. Rendering fat is similar to frying bacon. The rendered fat is whats left in the pan once the bacon is completely cooked. The process of frying bacon releases fat from the cellular structure of the meat which drives off water. It is the boiling off of the water that make the popping and sizzling sound. As a result, the fat itself just turns into a liquid form.
Instead of keeping the “cracklins” from the rendered fat which is delicious with a little salt and they make GREAT dog treats as well. Our goal in this process is to keep the fat in its liquid form. During this process we want to keep the ultimate temperature of the fat as low as possible. It’s ideal to keep it below 250°F and shoot for a final temperature of 240°F.
You do not want to exceed these temperatures because you will damage the fatty acids which we want to avoid at all costs. What this actually means is that you need the temperature just high enough to boil off all the water in a reasonable amount of time but as low as possible in order to maintain the nutritional value and not denature the structure of the fatty acids any more than we have to.
There are only two acceptable ways to render fat and one of those is to place the fat in a pot and heat on a stove top. The other way is to place the fat in a roasting pan and put it in the oven with the temperature set between 225°F-250°F. If you are rendering the fat on a stovetop you can complete the process in about an hour but it does require constant supervision.
If you are rendering your fat in the oven, it takes about 12 hours or more but can be left unattended during the entire time. I will be focusing on the stovetop method here. There will be no photo demonstrations of the oven method but I will cover the entire process in additional comments as we move along. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!
Okay, the next step is to cut the fat into half inch (1/2″) square cubes. Place sliced cubes of fat into a stock pot or pan. Make sure to choose the right size pot. Depending on how much pemmican you’re making depends on the size of the pot you need. If you are making a large amount of pemmican, than you’re going to need a large pot. You want to choose a pot large enough to leave you about three quarters of the way full.
This will give you enough head room to stir and mix your fat without spilling it all over your stovetop and counter. This also fills your pot deep enough with liquid fat so you can use a thermometer to monitor the temperature throughout the process. If you choose to use the oven method, all you have to do is put your fat into a pan and place it in the oven.
Set the temperature between 225°F to 250°F and than leave it be for approximately 12 to 24 hours. The best thing about rendering fat this way is that your oven thermostat will take care of the temperature for you.
If you’re cooking on your stovetop, you are going to want to set your burner to medium-high heat and stir well about every minute or so for the first 10 minutes of the process.
This will keep the bottom of the pan from overheating while more than enough fat is being liberated to cover the bottom of the pan. After approximately 10 minutes, you’ll start to see a pool of fat starting to form on the bottom which should be merrily boiling away.
You can now rest a bit and stir the fat every 5 minutes or so just to keep things well mixed. You don’t want to allow things to get away from you at this point so make sure you pay attention each step of the way. One mistake in the process can ruin the whole thing!
After 30 minutes or so, the liquid fat should be deep enough to cover all of the chunks and should have the appearance of a rolling boil. Reduce the temperature to medium heat and put the thermometer into the fat. Make sure that it does not touch the bottom of the pan. The water boiling off the fat will keep the temperature around 220°F for a while but there will come a point when the temperature will start to rise.
Keep stirring occasionally and always keep your eye on the thermometer. As the temperature begins to rise, lower the heat to keep the temperature around 230°F to 240°F. The image above is after about 45 minutes or so. By this time the cracklins are beginning to turn dark in color as the boiling starts to slow down. The temperature of the fat will start to rise requiring you to pay close attention to the heat setting.
After about an hour or so the major boiling action will come to a complete stop. At this time, all you should see are small bubble rising from the fat. 90% of the cracklins will have turned a chestnut brown. There will be lighter chunks that may still have some fat but it is not necessary at this point to try and extract it. If you are using your oven, you will have a similar appearance inside your roasting pan.
Now it’s time to take a good sized container and place your strainer on top. Don’t forget to line your strainer to keep out as many of the cracklins as you can. The container is where your rendered fat is going to be stored.
You are going to line your strainer with a single layer of paper towel. This will filter out additional sediment and allow just the liquid fat to filter through.
Now what you are going to do is either from your roasting pan or pot, pour the fat, cracklins and all into the strainer. Make sure you press on the cracklins with a serving spoon. What you’re trying to do here is press as much fat as you possibly can.
Once you’ve gotten all of the fat out, remove the strainer and set the container holding the fat to the side to cool down. Cracklins are delicious with a little bit of salt and pepper and make a great snack or you can set them aside to cool for awesome dog treats or you can just throw them away if you wish.
The square tub you see in the image above looks exactly like butter. This is rendered fat from grass fed animals and as you can see is a deep butter yellow from the carotenoids which is the fat soluble vitamin A precursor that gives carrots their orange color that get stored in the animals fat from the green grass that they eat.
Take a look at the round container on the right and notice the difference in color. The rendered fat in this container is a putty color and comes from grain fed animals. There is little or no carotene stored in the fat of grain fed animals. There is also a major difference in the fatty acid profile of grain fed versus grass fed animals.
Grass fed animal fat is between 25% and 50% healthy Omega 3 fatty acids. The grain fed animal’s fat is a mere 2% to 3% Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are extremely critical to the development and maintenance of our brain and nerve tissue. Overall, the meat and fat from grass fed animals have a far greater nutritional value than grain fed beef.
So, if you want to make pemmican that meets all nutritional standards without having to use any additional supplements. Make sure that you ONLY use both lean meat and fat from grass fed animals.
2. Dried Meat Preparation
In order to make any useful amount of pemmican, you’ll need a large quantity of well dehydrated lean meat as required. You can use a dehydrator or set your oven to the lowest possible temperature which is around 150°F. Place the strips of thinly sliced meat directly onto the oven rack. Make sure you crack the oven door open in order to prevent moisture buildup.
Let the meat dry out for approximately 15 hours or until it is crispy. The meat should just crumble in your hands. Generally, well dried meat will weigh just slightly less than 1/3 of its raw weight. Therefore, 10 pounds of raw lean meat will yield about 3 pounds of thoroughly dehydrated meat.
Pemmican is 50% rendered fat and 50% dried meat by weight. 3 pounds of dried meat will make 6 pounds of pemmican which will be equal to roughly 18 pounds of fresh meat. Start with well dried read meat such as bison, deer, beef, elk etc. Make sure that the strips of meat are thoroughly dry all the way through.
Any observable moisture in the meat will provide an environment for bacteria and mold to grow so make sure your meat is completely dry. Once your meat is completely dry, should the strips of meat be bent double, they should crack and not become rubbery.
Traditionally, the meat used for pemmican is dried without salt or any other seasoning. If you do choose to season your meat, make sure that you use very little or less than half of what you would normally use to make jerky. Use only dry spices like pepper, garlic powder, cumin, salt, chili powder etc.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER make pemmican with meat that has been marinated in wine , soy sauce or any kind of other marinade that contains sugar of any kind and no vegetable oils of any type.
Claude Davis who is the author of The Lost Ways Book and this pemmican recipe never uses salt when making his pemmican. He does mention in his book that on occasion, he does sprinkle a little salt but prefers to eat the pemmican without spices.
You can sprinkle a little bit of steak seasoning or other spices to change things up if you want but you need to be careful because a little bit of seasoning does go a long way because pemmican is such a dense food.
Once the meat is completely dehydrated, you need to grind the meat to a fibrous consistency. It should be like a fluffy but slightly chunky mulch. In the book, Claude uses a meat grinder like the one in the image above. If you are going to use a meat grinder, make sure you use the largest plate with the biggest whole possible.
The grinder above is a large #32 manual ChopRite with a 1 1/2 horsepower motor in place of the handle and fitted with a bean plate that has 3 very large oval holes. If you are using a with small holes. Make sure the holes a 3/4 inches or larger or else the holes will clog up damaging your meat grinder.
Make sure that you feed one strip of meat a time and wait for the exit holes to begin to clear before inserting the next strip. If for some reason the meat is a little to chunky, run it through a second time until you get the consistency you want.
Traditionally, Native Americans took the dry meat and ground it into a powder. As you can imagine, this process takes a lot of time and is a lot of hard work. You can see an example of this process in the incredible image above. Unless you need some exercise, I would not recommend this method.
If you don’t have a meat grinder, you can shred your dried meat in a food processor using the steel blade or simply use a blender. When using these alternatives, it will make the process a whole lot easier if you chop the dried meat into smaller pieces.
Some people actually pick up the blender and shake it while grinding in order to keep the unground chunks moving into the blades for a more even ground. If you have a food processor, you may want to repeat these same steps. I used my blender and it ground the meat without a problem. Whichever method you use, it should work without any problems and the process is much faster than using a meat grinder.
The next step is to weigh the amount of ground meat that you have and then weigh out an equal amount of the rendered fat you have stored away in your container. Remember, fat from the red meat animals is preferable for the best nutritional qualities as it becomes very firm when it cures similar to candle wax.
No butter or vegetable oil should ever be used in the process. You can use pork or lamb fat but it is highly recommended that you don’t. The fatty acid profile is way different and they melt at too low of a temperature.
This will cause the fat and lean to separate in warmer weather which makes storing your pemmican difficult unless you are willing to store them in liquid tight containers. In short, even though you can use lamb or pork fat, DON’T DO IT!
Now, you are going to remelt your rendered fat on low heat which is approximately 120°F.
Once your fat is completely melted you are going to go ahead and add your grounded dry meat. You want to completely mix the meat and the fat until it becomes almost like a thick paste. After your meat and fat a completely mixed, this is the time to add your dehydrated berries into the mix. Don’t forget to grind your dehydrated berries into a powder before adding it to the mix. Always remember to add only 5% of the berries total weight to the pemmican mix. Any more than this amount will ruin your pemmican.
Now that the pemmican is all mixed up and ready to go. It’s time for the final step in the process which is to prepare your pemmican for storage. There are several ways you can do this which I will show you. All you need are some cupcake or cake pans and some Ziplock bags and/or foil.
The Ziplock bags that you want to use are sandwich sized bags. Once you load the bags with pemmican, you’ll get about 300 grams (2,000 total calories) of pemmican. Once you press the bag flat, they are about 5″ x 6″ x 1/2″ thick. All you have to do is set them aside at this point and let them cool and harden.
Once your pemmican has cured it will become very hard, almost like a block of wax and will look almost like a dark oatmeal with some ground raisins mixed in. If you are using molds similar to cupcake pans or loaf pans above. You can remove the pemmican once it hardens. You can then store them in plastic bags wrapped in grease proof paper.
Another method Claude uses is to press the mixture into cupcake pans and then storing them with their paper liners inside gallon sized Ziplock bags. Each cupcake pan will hold approximately 75-80 grams which is around 500 calories if you pack them all the way to the top.
The secret to keeping pemmican for long periods of time is to store them in a dark place or wrap them in a light proof paper or aluminum foil as well as placing them in a plastic bag to keep out air and moisture.
Pemmican does NOT require refrigeration and can be kept for many, many years at room temperature as long as it is kept dry and shielded from direct sunlight and direct heat. That’s it! That’s all there is to making pemmican.
Now You Know How To Make Pemmican!
This exact pemmican recipe is inside The Lost Ways Book and is just one of many incredible chapters. The Lost Ways Book is full of long lost survival skills used by our forefathers to build the GREATEST country ever known. These skills were lost to us generations ago but are beautifully preserved in this book. It is a great read and a must have book for all American households.
These skills should be preserved and passed down from generation to generation to preserve our American values and heritage. You will be taken back in time to a time when America was wild and untamed. You will get a look inside daily life 150 years ago and see how our forefathers lived. It doesn’t matter if you are a hunter, outdoorsmen, camper or prepper. You are all going to want a copy of this book. There’s something in this book for every American.
You will learn how to make pemmican, how to build a self feeding fire, how to identify edible and medicinal plants, how to make hardtack biscuits and get access to dozens of pioneer recipes that will make your mouth water. The Lost Ways Book is way more than just a survival guide, it’s also American history and a National Treasure. I believe this book should also be taught in schools. This book is a treasure trove of life saving skills that you can use on camping or hunting trips and every day life.
Thank you for visiting with us today and spending your valuable time with us today. I hope you enjoy your new pemmican recipe. Please make sure to come back and share your thoughts with us. I’d love to know how your pemmican turned out. If you have any questions about The Lost Ways Book or the Native American Pemmican Recipe. Please leave them below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Don’t forget to grab your copy of The Lost Ways Book by clicking on the button below now!
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