Well, I decided to try to make my own pemmican. I had some venison and rabbit meat in the freezer. I also got some buffalo tallow when I picked half our cow from the processor. I then got some strawberries and blueberries. I followed some details instructions pretty closely. As the instructions said, I was careful not to season my pemmican too much.
I really do not have much money wrapped up in this project as the meat was from hunting and the tallow was free. I did spend a few bucks on the berries. The investment I have in this is time. The end result tastes so bad it is unpalatable. As much as I want to, I just cannot eat it. What I am wondering is if I could heat the dried pemmican back up and season the heck out of it to make it tasty? Also, how do you clean rendered lard off pans, etc.? It dries like wax and is very difficult to clean off.
Follow these instructions next time: http://www.traditionaltx.us/images/PEMMICAN.pdf
Also, pemmican is a beef candle. It will not taste "good" unless you are hungry. I bring it along on hikes and after strenuous exercise, it's great. A couple of bites in and your body stops thinking it's a candle and starts thinking that it's food, and it's basically just a bland, sort of beefy crunchy candle.
Cleaning up the rendered lard is pretty difficult. Basically you have to clean it like you would any wax spill - you need to melt the wax and then sop it up before it dries. Very hot water is the key. You could try something like filling your sink halfway with very hot water and then scrubbing the pot in it, then letting the water cool to skim off the fat before draining.
It is definitely an acquired taste, but also, it may just not have turned out well. My first batch was basically inedible, probably from a confluence of factors. For instance, before I made my dehydrator box, I was using the oven for drying, and the jerky was overheated and consequently too hard to make a good consistency powder. One time I burned the tallow and used it anyway, and the whole batch was terrible. It took me about 3 or 4 tries to start getting consistently good pemmican. I actually really love it now, and would probably eat it over most other foods if I had the time to keep production up. Still, some people never really like it.
I never season mine, because I'm accustomed to eating plain unseasoned meat. My husband likes my pemmican, but adds salt as he eats it. You might try that with your batch.
Venison pemmican could work, but rabbit doesn't sound so good. I'd never dry out chicken for chicken jerky and then make pemmican out of it. Also, rabbit + strawberries? I wouldn't eat that combo in any recipe. I suppose venison only with blueberries might be OK, but generally I don't really like the fruit+meat combo.
Just do this. Take your venison, or get some lean beef roast (I use bottom round). Freeze it for a few hours first, then slice it thin. I like to lightly salt it before drying which really improves the flavor. Some people recommend the light temp drying with box or dehydrator, but I just use my oven on lowest setting with door ajar and it still turns out OK.
Also, it is possible that your buffalo tallow is another problem. Try it by itself and see. For my beef pemmican I have been using 50% beef tallow and 50% lard which is turning out great.
This is not a survival food with indefinite shelf life, it is just something to have a few bites of as I cook dinner.
Dave Parsons, a guy who is BIG TIME into paleo sent me his "secret" pemmican recipe.
Basically, he believes that you should ONLY use wild-game or grass-fed beef AND grass-fed fat.
Rendering out the fat and drying the meat should both be done at low temperatures (120 for the drying, 200 for the rendering) and that no fruit/berries should be added (herbs and spices are ok though).
Grinding is done with a hand grinder or an electric one and pieces of fat tissue left over from the rendering process are used to keep the mechanism working.
The end mix is 50% ground/dried meat and 50% rendered out fat that is put into a pan, cut into bars, and eaten when some concentrated energy is needed.
Here is a link to the whole process (written by Dave P and edited by me) if you're interested in seeing some pics, etc...
" My missus wouldn't make me pemmican if I was starving to death"
marriage wasn't invented to be god's gift to women. Marriage is not a romance novel; it is a legal contract and wives have legal obligations. I suggest that you quietly meet with a matrimonial attorney.