Diane Prather: Modern pemmican

Diane Prather

Diane Prather's columns appear in the Craig Daily Press and Saturday Morning Press. You can call her at 824-8809.

Pemmican

(a modern version)

4 pounds cured beef or jerky

1 1/2 pounds fresh pork fat

1 cup dried apricots

Cut fat into small pieces and cook in a skillet until melted. Grind beef until fine. Mix with the fat until it is the consistency of sausage. Run the dried apricots through a grinder or food processor until finely chopped. Mix with the meat mixture and shape into small balls.

Recipe provided by Mary Adams, Craig

Two weeks ago, this column featured a request for a pemmican recipe, specifically the way the Native Americans made it. Mary, Adams of Craig, called me with a modern version of the recipe.

To make pemmican, you’ll need: 4 pounds of cured beef or jerky, 1 1/2 pounds fresh pork fat, and 1 cup dried apricots.

Cut the fat into small pieces and cook in a skillet until melted. Grind the beef until fine. Mix it with the fat until it’s the consistency of sausage. Run the dried apricots through a grinder or food processor until finely chopped. Mix with the meat mixture and shape into small balls. That’s all!

Thanks, Mary!

The column of two weeks ago also featured a recipe for “Beef Mincemeat” (from a recipe booklet put out by the Colorado Cowbelles). I also found a recipe for mincemeat that uses elkmeat. This recipe came from an old cookbook that I’ve used a lot — so much, in fact, that the cover, index pages and some of the recipe pages are missing. I don’t even have the name of the cookbook. It was some kind of a fundraiser book.

The recipe was contributed to the book by Sharon K. Albin, of San Miguel County.

Note: “Elkmeat” is spelled this way in the recipe. Also, I don’t know what size “bowl” the recipe refers to.

The ingredients for “Elkmeat Mincemeat” are: 2 bowls cooked and ground elkmeat, 2 bowls chopped apple, 1 bowl ground suet, 2 bowls seedless raisins, 1 bowl apple cider, 1 bowl currants, 3 level tablespoons cinnamon, 2 level tablespoons cloves, 1 level tablespoon allspice, 3 level tablespoons salt, 1 level tablespoon nutmeg and 4 bowls granulated sugar.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well, using your hands if necessary. Turn into glass jars and keep in the refrigerator. Stir on occasion, allowing it to mellow for one week. When using the mincemeat for a pie, add 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons water.

Next week, look for “Green Tomato Mincemeat” from Kelly Meyers, of Gilman, Iowa.

If you have a recipe you’d like to share, send it to me at P.O. Box 415, Craig, CO 81626 or call me at 824-8809.

Copyright Diane Prather, 2010

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