We had some tallow left in the fridge that I rendered from Mikes elk last year. It is suprisingly simple to make and the final product is a beautiful, odorless white waxy substance. I wrote about how to render tallow yesterday. I was inspired to try making pimihkan when a local cree man offered instruction and I realized I had everything I needed on hand.
I pulled out the dehydrator and took the saskatoons out of the freezer along with a small elk roast.
Cutting meat for dehydrating is much simpler if it is semi-frozen. You get thinner cleaner cuts and a more uniform dry meat.
Once the meat was dry I gave it a blitz in the blender to make it into a fine powder. If someone were to do all of this in nature the process of drying and powderizing the meat would be much more tedious! The photo shows the powdered dry meat before I pulled out all the sinew strands.
I used my mortar and pestle to crush up the dried saskatoons before adding them to the drymeat.
Next I heated the tallow up in a pot to melt it back to liquid.
As per traditional directions, I added just enough tallow to saturate the meat and mixed it very well.
I am told that this will last years in cool conditions. As for the taste; it’s one to appreciate, for sure. The flavor from saskatoons packs a big punch and is really nice. The texture is enjoyable- it’s almost like a variation of sweet jerky. Definitely appetizing enough for a survival food or if you need to pack light for a long hike. The kids even approved.
It’s no wonder saskatoons are alternatively known as serviceberries! Just one of many ways to use them up and a great way to preserve them too! The First Nations sure knew how to put what they had to good use and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn what I can from those traditions.