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Pemmican, created by Native Americans and adopted by European explorers of the New World, is a concentrated blend of fat and protein from lean, dried meat (usually beef nowadays, but bison, deer, and elk were common then) which is crushed to a powder and mixed with an equal amount of hot, rendered fat (usually beef tallow). Sometimes crushed, dried berries and nuts/seeds are added as well. However, the more additional ingredients you add, the less shelf stable the pemmican becomes. If you wish your pemmican to be shelf stable and last for years, go with meat and fat only.
Packed with calories and nutrition and long shelf life, pemmican is often called the ultimate survival food. The word “pemmican” is derived from the Cree root word 'pimi' for 'fat' or 'grease'.
The pemmican can be stored in airtight containers without refrigeration in a cool, dark and dry place. If made and stored properly, it can last for years or even decades. Modern types of pemmican with extra add-ins are best kept in the freezer.

  • 1.2 kg Beef shoulder roast, grass-fed if possible
  • 1 pound Beef suet, grass-fed if possible
  • 2 tbsp Hemp seeds, optional
  • 2 tsp Black salt, optional
  1. Place the beef roast in the freezer for a few hours, allowing it to firm up. If it is frozen, partially thaw it out. Use a sharp knife to cut it into long, thin slices.
  2. Place the slices either in a dehydrator or an oven that can be set at 65C/150F. It takes about 15 hours to thoroughly crisp the meat strips in my dehydrator. If you use oven, crack the oven door to prevent moisture buildup.
  3. Place in your food processor to powderize the dried meat. Turn the powderized meat in a large bowl and add in hemp seeds and black salt, if using.
  4. Render the beef suet in a skillet over very low heat. Stir the fat as it rendered out, and watch closely so that it wouldn’t burn. When the fat stops bubbling, the rendering is done.
  5. Mix the fat slowly with the meat, allowing the dry mixture to soak it up before adding more. You might not need all the fat. If pouring too much too quickly, just add some almond powder or coconut flour to firm it up. I divide the mixture in 6 muffin cups, but you can just shape them in balls or bars. It is best to store pemmican in a cool, dark, and dry place, inside an airtight container or a container that will not attract moisture. | © 2018 | | © 2018 |


Julie 21/12/18 07:20

interesting ones, I have never stored meat like this before..Thanks for sharing, Angie !

Vicki Bensinger 21/12/18 08:36

Wow I’ve never heard of this - how interesting! How does it taste? Did you enjoy it? This is a first for me.

Angie's Recipes 21/12/18 09:46

@Vicki BensingerLOVE IT! Just made another batch, this time I added some dried garlic powder, herbs and black sesame powder.

Evelyne CulturEatz 21/12/18 13:50

When I saw the name only of the recipe I knew I heard of it before but did not click until I read your description. This is very cool and a great recipe to share. Very curious to try!

Ashley@CookNourishBliss 21/12/18 14:20

I've never even heard of pemmican before - learned something new today! Hope you have a wonderful rest of the holiday season Angie!

Unknown 21/12/18 15:17

I have never heard of this before, at first sight I thought they are cookies (because of their shape). Very interesting, I wonder how they taste like, I have never even had plain dehydrated meat before.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen 21/12/18 15:22

So interesting and what a great way to get your protein on a long hike or long road trip in the car! I love hemp seeds and add them to my homemade granola :) Happy Holidays, Dear Angie!

Kitchen Riffs 21/12/18 17:21

What a fun recipe! I know about pemmican, but have never tasted it and certainly never made it. Really fun -- thanks. And Happy Holidays!

Anca 21/12/18 17:58

As a vegetarian, is not something I'd eat, but I did enjoy reading about pemmican. It's the first time I've heard about them.

Gloria Baker 21/12/18 18:34

I love this recipe Angie, sounds so good and healthy!!
Happy Holidays dear!!

Alida 21/12/18 21:55

Your recipes are so interesting Angie. I have never heard of this. Very entriguing and tasty. I wish you a fabulous Christmas time.

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake 22/12/18 01:48

I'd heard the name, but needed a refresher on what pemmican was exactly! Such an interesting technique---would be great for hiking!

Nancy Chan 22/12/18 11:59

Sounds very interesting. I wonder how the taste is like.

Motions and Emotions 22/12/18 13:28

good to know about this... never heard before

Kelly | Foodtasia 22/12/18 18:23

Wow, Angie, this is very fascinating! I'm going to pass this along to my father. He has a real interest in long term food storage.

Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine 22/12/18 22:24

This sounds really good I especially like your second addition with sesamme powder and the garlic.

Jeff the Chef 23/12/18 12:40

I'm guessing it tastes kind of like jerky?

Karen (Back Road Journal) 24/12/18 16:34

Something I've never heard of, it certainly does sound like it would last and last. Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

fimere 24/12/18 19:49

une recette intéressante et savoureuse
joyeuses fêtes de fin d'année

Balvinder 25/12/18 02:50

Never heard of preserving meat this way, Angie. It's a very interesting recipe.

noobcook 26/12/18 08:49

This is new to me. Sounds really flavourful and love the long storage lifespan.

noobcook 26/12/18 08:49

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays Angie :)

Abbe@This is How I Cook 27/12/18 04:49

I remember studying history and reading about pemmican. Now I know what it is! Thanks for the lesson Angie!

2pots2cook 27/12/18 10:24

Must admit I have never heard of these but keeping for my adventures to come. Thank you Angie !

Angie's Recipes 27/12/18 16:24

@Jeff You actually can use jerky to make pemmican!

Jean | 27/12/18 19:12

Angie, you're amazing! We saw something about pemmican in a documentary years ago and couldn't stop saying "pemmican" all week! To this day, we call any odd little food "pemmican." (Silly, I know.) And now YOU have actually made it! Yes, it had to be you.

tigerfish 29/12/18 16:11

Even the name "Pemmican" sounds new to me! These look like savory cookies which are right up my alley :)

Anne@ASaladForAllSeasons 29/12/18 17:36

I love visiting your blog, Angie. I feel like I learn something new every time. Like this interesting and unique recipe. Looks fantastic!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies 30/12/18 02:33

This is so interesting. It sure sounds like something I would like!

Debra Eliotseats 30/12/18 15:54

How interesting. Pinning this. Maybe one of the nieces and nephews will use it for a school project.

Mindy 30/12/18 19:19

This would be great for my hunter friends to take when they go out or days at a time. I'll pass the recipe along!

Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living 1/1/19 16:53

So interesting, I've never heard of pemmican. Thanks for sharing this!

grace 4/1/19 17:19

i've seen the word pemmican before but i had no idea what it was! you're always so informative. :)

Chitz 9/1/19 12:11

This is interesting and something that I have never heard before!


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