Pemmican – An Ancient “Survival Food”

Pemmican is a “survival food” made of lean meat, beef tallow (rendered beef fat), berries, and nuts. The creation of Pemmican is generally attributed to the Cree people from Canada. There are many recipes available for Pemmican but they’re all basically the same; meat, tallow, fruit, and nuts. Honey can be added to improve the taste. While it’s unlikely you’ll love it so much you start having Pemmican Thursdays at your house it’s a great thing to add to your food storage because it stores extremely well and provides lots of nutrients in a SHTF scenario.

Basic Pemmican Recipe:


4 cups dried meat (only venison moose, caribou, or beef)

3 cups dried fruit

2cups rendered fat (only use beef, preferably leaf fat ) An excellent article on how to render fat can be found at

1 cup unsalted nuts (this is optional but I highly recommend it)

1 tbsp raw honey (not the stuff you find on the grocery store shelves in the little bear bottle) (optional)


Cookie sheet

Mortar and pestle

Sharp kitchen knife


Dry the meat by spreading it thinly on a cookie sheet at 180* for at least 8 hours or until crispy.

Grind the dried meat into a powder using the mortar and pestle.

Add the dried fruit and grind, leaving some larger fruit pieces to help bind the mixture.

Cut the beef fat into small chunks and heat over medium heat until it renders (melts) making tallow.

Stir the rendered fat into the meat/fruit mix, mixing thoroughly.

Add (crushed) nuts and honey if using.

Shape the Pemmican into bars or small balls and wrap individual servings in wax paper or store in plastic bags.