How Тo Make Pemmican
When you’re in a survival situation, staying energized can be the difference between coming out okay and becoming one with the wilderness. You need to pack your system full of protein to keep you going even when every fiber of your being is telling you no. You need not stuff your survival backpack to the brim with too many snacks, but instead bring something with a long shelf-life full of all the proteins and fats you need. This food is known as Pemmican.
Championed by the Native Americans, pemmican is just as essential for keeping you alive as compasses are for finding your way, as shelter is for staying warm during the night, and as water is for ensuring you stay hydrated. It’s the Swiss Army knife of survival food that anyone heading into survival situations should have with them. It’s better than a granola bar and easier to eat than a tin of beans, so here’s how to make pemmican – the ultimate survival food.
What On Earth Is Pemmican?
In the most simple terms, pemmican is a dense mixture of both protein and fat taken from the lean meat of elk, buffalo, or moose which they dried and then ground. Invented by the indigenous parts of North American and is still eaten today with the name deriving from a combination of the Cree pimîhkân which itself comes from pimî, meaning fat or grease.
The ingredients used to make pemmican flood you with high energy and keep you going in a variety of intense, demanding situations. During the times of the Fur Trade and Expeditions into extreme climates, pemmican was eaten by Europeans where food was scarce and explorers including Ernest Shackleton, Fridtjof Nansen, and Robert Falcon Scott.
Some of you may have heard of it by the Lakota or Sioux name wasna which comes from the words for anything and ground up and if there’s any better way to describe pemmican (or wasna), we’d like to hear it.
What Are The Benefits?
As the pemmican is essentially pure, an unadulterated protein with no additives or any of that other nonsense you find down at the local supermarket, the benefits are huge. Consider how full and satisfied you feel after chugging down your favorite protein shake mixture and multiply this by a thousand at least.
The protein and fat in pemmican give you a boost of energy and restocks your reserves you may need to feed off later on. It also helps to repair tissue, so if you’ve suffered an injury, it can help you recover quicker. It’s not as effective as a trip to the hospital, but when you’re trying to survive, it’s the best thing you will find.
If you mix it with berries, as some indigenous people often did, you get further servings of fiber in your diet, which is also essential in survival situations.
Why Is It The Ultimate Survival Food?
The long-lasting nature and the fact you can make it at home, on the road, or deep in the densest jungle around is what makes pemmican the ultimate survival food. Once you know how to do it, pemmican is easy to make, and it can provide hours of energy. Some people have eaten pemmican rations from as far back as 1902, in case you need any more convincing.
How To Make Pemmican
As with most traditional foods passed on orally like myths and legends, there are too many pemmican recipes to count and it seems as if every indigenous population of North America has their own way of making pemmican. However, most of the time the basic linear process remains very much the same.
Cut all the fat from the meat and slice it as finely as possible (or use a meat slicer if you’re at home). Afterward, place it on a drying rack and leave in the sun. If you’re from the UK or a similarly dull country, you can put the meat in your oven on the lowest setting. The meat should be dry enough that it breaks before it bends.
If you want to preserve it as long as possible, add as much salt as necessary.
Smash that meat into powder using a food processor or a pestle and mortar. If you do not have these because you’re in a survival situation, cut the meat up fine and crush it with whatever you have close by. Indigenous people used rocks.
Render the fat in a crock pot, oven, or camping stove by heating it up. This should take a while, as you need to heat it on the lowest temperature while stirring occasionally. Heat until the bubbling ceases and strain it to remove any leftover pieces.
Combine the meat with anything else you want to include such as nuts, dried fruit, berries, or raisins in a large bowl, still leaving room for the fat. This makes the mixture a little more exciting, but it also reduces longevity.
Add one part fat for every two parts of the mixture or more if you think it’s needed. To ensure the mixture isn’t compromised, pour the liquid fat slowly and stir well for better absorption.
If you have anything extra such as honey, peanut butter, or maple syrup, you can add these to the mixture. However, adding too much will make your mixture too wet, so be careful. You can also add more salt for better flavor.
This is an optional step, and will also reduce the shelf life of your pemmican.
Spread the pemmican in a dish. If you’re at home, a casserole dish is useful, but if you’re already in the wilderness, anything you have will be suitable. After you’ve spread it, cut it into bar shapes.
Place in an airtight container and store in a cool, dry, and dark place. If you have made a lot and are running low on space, you can also store your pemmican in a ziplock bag and keep it in the freezer.
Obviously, we hope you’re never in a survival situation, at least not unwillingly, but if you like to skirt on the dangerous side of life (and more power to you), knowing how to make pemmican can be the difference between survival and something far more sinister. You might even find you like it so much that you ditch your regular diet and live entirely off pemmican for the rest of your life. Hey, you’ve got to get those gains somehow, bro.
- How To Make Pemmican: A Survival Food That Can Last 50 Years – Off The Grid News
- Four Pemmican Recipes – Wilderness College