Does anyone out there in Paleo land currently make pemmican? I saw a short video of a lady making enough to feed her family- looks like a lot of work, but a useful product. You need to render the fat, dry and grind the meat, then blend the fat and meat together. It is supposed to be very filling.
Specifically, what type of meat do you use, what is the procedure, what ratio of meat to fat is correct, and how long does it take to make a batch? Do you keep it to strictly meat and fat or do you add dried berries?
That's a great post on pemmican production. I make large batches from time to time. Like having it on hand. Eat it straight up, cook eggs with it, mix with hot water to drink as a broth. I cheated and bought a huge tub of tallow from US Wellness, but make my own jerky and grind it up (deer, beef, elk, antelope etc) to make the pemmican.
Pemmican has become one of my favourite foods. It is definitely a staple at our house.
Use very lean cuts, or ones in which the fat is all on the outside, so can be cut off cleanly, as opposed to marbled cuts. I usually use eye of round, but top or bottom round works, as does London Broil.
I used to dry the jerky in the oven, but now I have built a dehydrator box as per Lex Rooker's instructions: www.traditionaltx.us/images/JerkyDrierInstructions.pdf It is vastly superior, in my view, in taste and texture, plus it retains the benefits of raw meat, since it is not actually cooked. My oven could not be set low enough for this.
I buy beef fat at little cost from the butcher and dice it. I render it for several hours in a crockpot. I used to do it overnight, but once it burned and ruined the whole batch, so now I do it in the day so I can monitor it from time to time. The resulting tallow I use for pemmican and for cooking.
I use a Ninja food processor, which I highly recommend. It's not expensive, and pulverizes the jerky with ease.
Mix the jerky with equal weight of liquid tallow, pour into containers and refrigerate.
As Marnee said it isn't that much work after the first few times, and you can make large batches. Mine has gotten better and better the 6 or 7 times I've made it. My husband and children like it, too, after getting over some initial resistance to the idea. I make it at least once a week.
I haven't tried the U.S. Wellness pemmican, but I hear it tastes terrible, so if you do try it and don't like it, you might still like homemade.
Here is an excellent guide, also from Lex Rooker: www.traditionaltx.us/images/PEMMICAN.pdf
The book Nourishing Traditions has a pemmican recipe that I have been meaning to try. It calls for:
3 lbs lean beef (such as brisket or bottom round)
1 lb suet or tallow
You may also find it on the Weston Price website.
I have made some pemmican with jerky I get from my bison purveyor at the farmer's market, Lindner Bison. Their jerky is made without unnatural preservatives, only salt and a bit of honey (but it's not sweet jerky). I pulverize the jerky in my Vita-Mix until it is roughly sawdust consistency. I render my own tallow (also from Lindner) and mix it in a 1:1 ratio (by weight) with the pulverized jerky. It's nice pressed into cupcake wrappers - I call them "pemmican pucks."