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Pemmican Recipe from Antarctica

The last wilderness on earth, home only to temporary scientists, penguins, seals and other wildlife, fighting for survival in a harsh subzero climate. It is no wonder that it took so long for mankind to reach this frozen continent and battle against it to unravel its mysteries.

White continent AntarcticaThis Pemmican recipe reflects Antarctic cuisine. All the explorers of Antarctica ate Pemmican and sledging biscuits as they provided the most energy per weight in value. Most of the history books would quote this being 6,500 calories for 2 sledging biscuits with 1 tin of Pemmican. This food literally meant the difference between life and death. Hypothermia set in quickly to a hungry man and so with this fat and carbohydrate rich diet men could push themselves to their own limits, into the wilderness and literally claim to be the first men who stood on the bottom of the world.

Recipe for Pemmican: The Antarctic Special


300 grams Beef strips cut as thinly as possible
350 grams beef suet
100 grams cranberries
1 tsp salt
sprinkle of herbs and black pepper (optional)


Preferably purchase low quality beef from the butchers and ask them to slice it as thinly as possible. With this purchase they are likely to give you beef fat for free, but you can buy 100% beef suet from the supermarket as well.

Beef powder for PemmicanSet your oven as low as possible (max 50C) and lay the beef strips on a baking tray to dehydrate. The end result must be free from water content and not have changed colour, which indicates that the meat has been cooked. Not good, as this reduces the Pemmican’s longevity and any water content will freeze in the low temperatures you will be facing in the Antarctic making your food far less appealing to eat in the field without cooking it (incidentally this is called “Hooch”, when turned into a soup with snow).

When the beef is dehydrated, leave to cook and blend it in a food processor to turn it into a course powder. Leave to one side.

Next set a frying pan on a low heat. Chop the fat into small pieces and add to the pan. The fat needs to melt and all of the water must evaporate, to ensure the mixture does not go off. However there is a fine line as it must not burn. Watch the mixture carefully as it turns into a thick, yellow, waxy mass. This should take around 20 minutes to half an hour. Remove any skin that is present in the pan and leave to cool.

When the mixture starts to turn hard and oily add the cranberries, beef powder and any spices you wish to add, including the salt. Add immediately to a small can and ensure that it fills all of the sides. Leave to cool and when it is cool enough leave in the fridge until completely set.

Sledging BiscuitsYou can also find how to make sledging biscuits so you can experience a truly Antarctic feast while sleeping outside in the winter in 9 layers of woolly cloths and a large puffer jacket!

We hope you liked this Pemmican recipe. Please comment below if you have tried it or found any issues we have not mentioned.  We have not found another Pemmican recipe on the Internet so it would be good to get some feedback!

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