Traditionally pemmican was prepared from the lean meat of large game animals such as buffalo, elk or deer. The meat was cut in thin slices and dried over a slow fire, or in the hot sun until it was hard and brittle. Then it was pounded into very small pieces, almost powder-like in consistency, using stones. The pounded meat was mixed with melted fat with a ratio of approximately 50% pounded meat and 50% melted fat.
In some cases, dried fruits such as saskatoon berries, cranberries, blueberries, or choke cherries were pounded into powder and then added to the meat/fat mixture. The resulting mixture was then packed into "green" rawhide pouches for storage.
Bannock was adopted in our own cuisine over the 18th and 19th centuries, most likely from the fur traders. As it was easy to make on the trail and neatly complemented high protein trail foods like pemmican. As a result, even today many first nations people routinely prepare this dish.
First Nations bannock is generally prepared with white or whole wheat flour, baking powder and water, which are combined and kneaded (possibly with spices, dried fruits or other flavouring agents added) then fried in rendered fat, vegetable oil, or shortening. Try some in our Resturant!
Buffalo Meat Preparation
An average male buffalo provided about 700 kilograms of meat. The fresh meat was either roasted on a stick over a fire or boiling pit. By stuffing meat and herbs into the buffalo's gut we make sausage. Sometimes we take the meat that couldn't be eaten right away and make jerky.
Jerky was prepared by cutting the meat into fine strips then hung over a open fire or on a rack out in the sun. To dry out.
No part of the buffalo was ever wasted.
Was a means of cooking by which a round hole was scooped in the earth into which was sunk a piece of rawhide. The hole was then filled with water and meat placed in it sometimes with vegetables in a skin bag to make a rich soup. A fire was then lit nearby and a number of stones made red hot.
When the stones were hot enough, they were either dropped into or held in the water, which would be raised to the boiling point to cook the meat.