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NativeTech: Indigenous Food and Traditional Recipes
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Category : The Four Legged       Region : Plains ~ Plateau       Rating : 5
Pemmican

Contributor : Jake Levi

Tribal Affiliation : Cheyenne , unenrolled

Orgin of Recipe : my grandmother

Type of Dish : All Indigenous Ingredients

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Ingredients

  • 5-10 lbs lean beef or bison round
  • beef tallow rendered
  • 1 lb dried blueberries
  • 1 lb crushed walnuts
  • red pepper seeds to flavor
  • coarse salt, 1/4 cup/lb final mix

Directions

Slice lean meat into thin strips, up to 1/4" thick, put on rack in oven to dry, with door open, or into bring sun on a warm day, check hourly to turn over, check dryness, if not dry it will bend if dry enough it will almost snap, this is very much like jerky,

prior to the drying I rub the strips liberally with coarse salt and crushed red pepper seeds.

When dry, put in a food processor to make powder or fine pcs.

Measure the dry meat by volume, render enough beef fat into clear fat by barely simmering over a low flame, strain out bits and pcs, your dog will love them.

When the fat is done you want about 1/4 to 1/3 of the meat by volume of fat. This is the great preserver. And what gives the mix sustaining ability for long efforts.

Process the dry berries, any kind can be used, add in more salt if needed. Then mix the dry meat with berries, walnuts, etc until thoroughly mixed.

In a large bowl put the meat mix in,make a depression as with bread dough and add the fat, mixing with a fork, it needs to be well mixed so all the meat mix is coated. Pemmican is a high fat high protein travelers meal, not a gourmet dish, The berries and nuts will help the taste a bit but remember that the lean beef and the tallow will not spoil easily if not overly mixed with spoilable ingrediants. Think of the mix as similar to a mix of peperoni minus all the other spices/seasonings.

I have also added honey to the mix, up to a half lb per five lbs of meat. It sweetens it and is also a natural preservative. Along with the salt.

This can be stored in small amounts in the fridge, I prefer to put it into casings, either artificial or natural lamb ordered through your butcher shops or on line,

stuffers are available that look like wide mouthed funnels you put the mouth of the casing over the bottom of the funnel and pack in the mix best as you can, I use my thumb and a spoon.

When you get a full link hang it above a low heat fire, a lodge fire is near perfect, but you can hang them over a bar b que too with charcoal briquettes. This makes the links both smaller and tastier but also adds to the preservation.

Pieces can be taken as trail food, or broken up and added to beans or chilli or homefried spuds or field turnips.

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