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Make Up a Batch of Pemmican, Historic Backcountry Super Food

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Clay Hayes shows you how he makes up a batch of super-nutritious pemmican to keep him going on backcountry hunts.

Clay Hayes is getting ready for the hunting season to start, and part of his preparation is making up enough pemmican to take with him into the backcountry.

Pemmican is an awesome, high-energy super food that our forefathers prepared when they too headed into the wilderness. It’s highly portable, chock-full of calories and nutrition and has a long, stable shelf life.

Here’s how Hayes prepares it:

We also shared Townsend’s historic pemmican recipe that was taken from old colonial journals or historical accounts and prepared in the old-world way. It’s an exceedingly simple recipe, no matter how you make it.

Basically, it’s just dried meat, animal fat and dried berries mixed together. 

Hayes makes an important distinction between using beef tallow fat (which is preferred) over deer or elk tallow, as the texture of the fat from those meats can be a bit waxy. Beef tallow is more palatable. His presentation on rendering tallow is of particular interest.

The real takeaway here is to make sure the meat and berries are dried before adding them to the mix. The fat acts as a binder that holds everything together, while also providing a lot of energy-producing calories.

Pemmican is a great food to take with you when you’re hunting, hiking, camping or heading into backcountry. It has a long shelf life and can be used in other recipes as well. It’s a great survival food.

So now that hunting season is upon us, I’d suggest you add pemmican to your hunt-pack food list. I make a batch or two of it every year and highly recommend it. It’s super filling, tastes good and it’s versatile and keeps very well.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his Facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.

NEXT: A VERY UNUSUAL 18TH CENTURY RECIPE: EEL AND CORN SUCCOTASH

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Make Up a Batch of Pemmican, Historic Backcountry Super Food