The content that follows is from Nourishing Traditions pages 525.
From Vilhjalmur Stefansson — The Fat of the Land. “Pemmican is controversial … a number of scientists are on record that pemmican is good in cold weather, unsuitable in hot climates. But Europeans first encountered this food invention of the Plains Indians in the Texan-Missouri-Dakota-Manitoba sector, where midsummer temperatures go above 120° in the shade occasionally and above 100° frequently. Pemmican was there chiefly a summer food—because it was a travel food, and journeys were usually made in summer. Its most impressive record as the exclusive diet, or nearly so, of large numbers of men for long periods is from transportation crews of the fur trade working twelve to eighteen hours a day and straight through the noon period with its scorching or steaming heat.
The extreme supporters of pemmican recommend it as the most concentrated food known to man or possible within the modern concepts of physiological and chemical science. They say that it is a complete food in the sense that it will keep a hard-working man in top form for any length of time in any climate. They maintain, indeed, that it is the only concentrated food which ever has been tried out by large numbers of men for long periods which has met these specifications. …
There appears to be no disagreement … that pemmican is among the most preservable of foods. Cases are on undisputed record where pack- ages, shielded only by rawhide, were in good condition after ten, twenty and more years, without any preservative, such as salt, and without protection … other than that given by the leather covering.”
This recipe makes 3 cups:
- 3 pounds lean beef, such as brisket or bottom round
- 1 pound beef suet or tallow
- ½ cup dried cranberries (optional)
- 1/4¼p maple syrup (optional
- Slice beef into thin strips, spread on oiled racks placed on cookie sheets and bake several hours in a 150- degree oven until well dried. (You may also use a dehydrator.) \
- Meanwhile, cut suet or tallow into small pieces and place in a pan. Melt over medium-high heat and allow to boil until any pieces of skin, meat or gristle have become crisp. Pour the hot fat through a strainer into a glass measuring cup—you should have about 3/4 cup rendered fat.
- Cut dried beef into pieces and process in batches in the food processor, several minutes per batch, until the beef is reduced to a coarse powder.
- In a bowl, mix powdered beef, warm fat, optional cranberries and optional maple syrup.
- Press into a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar and cover tightly.
- Pemmican may be stored at room temperature. Eat pemmican as is, or fry it up in a pan.