Rabbit Pemmican Recipe - with Cranberries and Chokecherries 🐇
I was just attending Stacey Murphy's Superfoods Summit, and Crystal Meserole posted this delicous recipe for making rabbit pemmican. Since I am in the process of gathering and preparing foods for backpacking trips, I thought - wow, this sounds perfect!
Rabbit Pemmican with Cranberries/Chokecherries
After watching the Superfood Garden Summit Day 3 with Marjory Wildcraft, this is the traditional Ojibwe ( pronounced Oh-Jib-Way) recipe, that I am willing to share with her & anyone that would like to try it.
Pemmican is traditionally made throughout Indigenous Tribes, each recipe is different and prepared specific to each individuals preference. But for food safety purposes, you do not want to add in any dairy products or refined oils, as the meat is dried into flakes or made into a jerky-like state, dairy and refined oils will not hold up for long term storage.
When using rabbit meat for pemmican, the processing of the meat is cut into thin long strips, traditionally sun-dried on a wooden rack, or heated over hot coals or wood, not over flames. While living on the reservation most of my life it was one thing to be able to dry the meat in the sun and over low burning wood, but now living in an HOA community, I don’t think that would be possible without the neighbors or the local police knocking on my door, LOL!
The rabbit meat that I prefer to use, is wild game, or home raised rabbit meat that is grass-fed, rather than pellet fed. It’s just my preference to not eat anything the rabbit would consume naturally from it’s environment. The berries I use are foraged for, but you can also supplement with dried cranberries or chokecherries from your local grocery store, but not sure if chokecherries are sold in all areas. The berries are added for flavor, but also add a nice texture to the dried meat, packing it with vitamins and minerals, sweetness without adding any type of sweetener.
3-5 pounds of fresh rabbit meat
(will equal 1/2 pound to 1 pound of pemmican after drying stage)
1/4 cup of dried cranberries/chokecherries
(I split into equal parts of each when adding the dried berries)
5 Tablespoons of animal fat (melted and hot)
(tallow or rendered lard may be used)
1 teaspoon of sea salt per pound of rabbit meat
(you may adjust for your taste)
1. Cut rabbit meat into thin long strips, either placing them on a rack over a hot coals/wood, or in a dehydrator at the lowest temperature for 8-10 hours, the meat will have to be completely dry, almost crispy, in order for the meat to keep stored safely. You may also dry the rabbit meat strips in the oven at the lowest temperature of 100F – 150F for 10-11 hours, but make sure to place the meat on to a rack, and place a baking sheet pan under the rack to catch any of the drippings from the rabbit meat. I prefer to use the 9 rack Excalibur Dehydrator for this recipe, at the lowest temperature setting for the 8-10 hours.
2. Once the rabbit meat is completely dried, you may us a grinder to grind the meat into flakes or a flakey consistency, and you can also grind the berries the same way, but do the meat and berries separately.
3. In a bowl, place the dried rabbit meat flakes (pemmican), also add the ground dried berries to the bowl.
4. Add a tablespoon at a time of the melted animal fat, depending on what consistency you prefer, it’s best to add a little at a time, rather than add too much, because you can not take it out once it’s added, then mix together well.
5. Add in sea salt a teaspoon at a time. Let cool completely.
6. Roll mixture into small ball shape, or use a smaller scoop, roll between palms like a meatball or into a bar-like shape.
7. You can wrap into wax paper or in a plastic bag and store this way, or you may also wish to dry it a second time.
I prefer to use sea salt when preparing this, I use 1 teaspoon of sea salt per pound of meat, you can use less, but it inhibits the growth of bacteria when storing.
Let me know if you try this, and what you thought of it!🙏