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This Protein Source is a Must for the Frugal Prepper’s Shopping List January 26, 2017

ground beef as food storage
[Editor’s Note: Having a storable protein source for your emergency supplies is paramount to your survival. In The Prepper’s Cookbook, I stress the importance of having a pantry stocked with nutritious, life-saving meals. Finding deals at the grocery store (especially on meat) is a great way to bulk up your emergency supplies. One such frugal food is the humble package of ground beef.  It can be dehydrated, canned and frozen. As Jeremiah will touch on, this versatile meat source is a must for every prepper pantry. Chances are, you can find some great deals if keep an eye out.]

ReadyNutrition Readers, as you’ve undoubtedly read in some of my previous articles, protein is a major consideration in any undertaking that you have.  As a matter of fact, it is critical to your survival.  We have discussed its importance before, and I wanted to give you guys and gals some methods for utilizing ground beef to keep that protein flowing into your systems.  Remember this: almost every food can be effectively blended in a blender.  The smaller and more pulverized the better!

Ground Beef is a Frugal SHTF Meat Source

Seriously, guys and gals, ground beef is really great.  Firstly, the taste is such that it (as a meat, and a protein) provides satiety, that is a sense of being filled/sated.  When you combine that with an 85% lean or higher regarding fat, and make it organic, grass-fed beef…you’re taking in some nutritious protein.


Per the tables in Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary (17th Ed.), 3 ounces of lean ground beef contains 21 grams of protein.  Most people can eat between ¼ and ½ lb. at a sitting, so we’re looking at 28 to 56 grams of protein right there.


A Few Nifty Ways To Have Ground Beef Ready To Go!

Now, let me tell you what I do.  I’ll take about 10 lbs. at a time, and make really lean hamburgers out of about 5 lbs. of it in about ¼ lb. patties.  I chop up onions, garlic, parsley, and the like, and throw that in.  The other 5 lbs. I brown it on the stove, drain it, and then add ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil and the aforementioned herbs and seasonings.  I’ll keep it in 1 lb. Ziploc bags and freeze about three pounds of it.  The other two I’ll keep in the fridge.

Adding this ground beef ¼ lb. at a time to other things, I boost the protein content quite a bit.  If you read that article I wrote on the uses of the thermos, you’ll find that I’m a big vitamin-R guy…that’s “Ramen” …for a light lunch/snack and a quick pick-me-up.  With a sandwich bag holding my browned ground beef, I turn the 8 grams of protein in the Ramen to 36 g in the blink of an eye.

See, if you pack up these little sandwich bags with about ¼ lb. of the ground beef, you can add it into whatever you like.  Tomato soup is nothing…but you can go somewhere and have a bowl and throw the ground beef into it and there’s your protein.  Same as if you pick up a salad, the bag of ground beef.  Why not?  Whatever your dressing is, throw in the ground beef and mix it all in well.  Why not add some delicious protein to your salad that makes you feel fuller?  Even something such as a bowl of macaroni and cheese…add your ground beef, and go from about 16 g of protein to the cup to a full 44 g.

I have mentioned all of this to give you some ideas if you’re on the go and used to buying your food when you’re at work or such.  Know what else you can do, after you’ve cooked it up?  Dehydrate it!  Yes, indeedy!  That is with a food dehydrator (the time will vary for the number of trays you intend to do) or with your oven.  For the oven, you should throw it on about 150 degrees F for about 8 to 10 hours if you already browned it (for about 5 lbs.).  When it’s done, allow it to cool off, then wrap it up and refrigerate it.  This is especially good in soups, and to figure out what the protein content is you’ll have to do a weight by proportion. Note: Meats with high fat content tend to produce beads of oil as it dehydrates and should be blotted off during the dehydration process. Look for meat that has less than 15% fat content.

If you browned about 5 lbs., and then dried it in the oven, you may have about 2 lbs. left over.  Calculate your original pre-cooked weight into 4 ounce increments (that would be 4 per pound…and 5 lbs. makes twenty total, right?).  Then divide your 2 lbs. by 20, and each increment would hold a normally-cooked amount’s worth of protein…so each increment would be 28 grams of protein worth…minus the water.  Just as an example so you can figure out how to do your own.  Incidentally, the Taber’s I mentioned doesn’t have the food tables in editions after the 17th, and the tables list every food known to man within reason.

You can also take that ground beef and make pemmican out of it using my recipe with just minor adjustments in terms of fat incorporated into the recipe.  As I mentioned before, all of this depends upon the fat content of the ground beef you use.  Put in into anything that you have in your diet.  I even make mashed potatoes and mix the ground beef in with it.  Works good, and tastes pretty good, too.  Try out some of these ideas, and you’ll find it really helps you with your workouts and training when protein is your main requirement.  Eat heartily, and take care of yourselves!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published January 26th, 2017
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A Beginners Guide to Sausage Making (Recipes Included) January 9, 2017

My grandfather was a large influence on my passion for homesteading. He was an avid gardener, hunter, made his own wine and sausage; and was always generous about sharing.

He made use of the plethora of meat he would get from hunting or deals he found at the grocery store. Once he was loaded up on meat, he would get his meat grinder out and carefully cut his meat for grinding and make some of the best sausage you could ever have. I grew up on his homemade sausage and could never get enough. I am a big believer in sharing family recipes and did so in my book, The Prepper’s Cookbook, so I had to share some of my favorite sausage recipes too.

Sausage making is a great way to use up an abundance of meats in the home freezer. I use an assortment of cheap meats. My grandfather’s secret was using equal amounts of brisket and pork butt.

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • large mixing bowl
  • sharp knife
  • meat grinder (look for one that has multiple speeds and has a reverse capability. It helps with unclogging the grinder)
  • sausage casings (natural or non-edible casings is a personal choice)
  • assorted spices or buy a prepared spice pack
  • cure salt (I like this one) – Use 1 teaspoon of curing salt per 5 lbs. of meat.
  • meat: stew meat, roasts, briskets, pork butts, pork shoulder, etc.
  • baker’s twine

Prepping the Meat

Any meat can be used in sausage making, but typically, pork and beef are used. Pork shoulder is a great meat to use as it has 20% fat and creates a nice balance to the sausage. As well, it is sold at a low-cost. Place it on a plate or pan in the freezer, along with the grinder parts that will contact the meat. Leave it there for about 20 minutes until it is firm but do not let it freeze. This makes grinding easier.

Here’s a great video on getting the meat prepped for grinding and stuffing.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

BREAKFAST SAUSAGE

  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
  2. Form mixture into patties and place on a large dish.
  3. Over medium heat, saute the patties in a large skillet for 5 minutes per side, or until internal pork temperature reaches 160 degrees F (73 degrees C).
  4. Or, add sausage patties to a freezer bag and freeze for later. Tip: We like to freeze them on a large cookie sheet with wax paper. Once frozen, we add them to a freezer bag.

SUMMER SAUSAGE

  • 5 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon Morton Tender Quick curing salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, for spicy (optional)
  • summer sausage casings (if you plan on smoking your summer sausage)

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef and spices until well blended.
  2. Cover mixture with foil and allow to cure in refrigerator for 48 hours. Season with garlic powder, curing mixture, liquid smoke and mustard seed, and mix thoroughly. It is best to use your hands for this – like meatloaf. Form the mixture into two rolls, and wrap with aluminum foil. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
  3. If you are smoking your meat: Add meat to casing either by stuffing by hand, using a sausage stuffer or sausage stuffing attachment for an electric meat-grinder.
  4. If you plan on baking your summer sausage: Shape the mixture into five logs and wrap in foil. Set on a wire rack over a large drip pan.
  5. See cooking directions below.

Smoking Instructions:

  1. To smoke summer sausage, smoke at 140 degrees F for 1 hour, then at 180 degrees F until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the sausage). Tip: Soak your wood chips in beer to give your sausage an authentic flavor. I used Sierra Nevada IPA and it turned out delicious.
  2. Remove from smokehouse and place in ice water to cool down rapidly.

Baking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove foil from the beef, and poke holes in the bottom of the rolls. Place them on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan to catch the drippings.
  3. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven.
  4. Cool, then wrap in plastic or foil, and refrigerate until cold before slicing.

BRATWURST

  • 3 pounds pork shoulder or butt
  • 1 pound beef or pork fat or a blend
  • 4 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 5 teaspoons salt

Instructions:

  1. Grind the meat using a fine grinding plate.
  2. After grinding, add the sausage seasonings to the meat and blend by hand or use a meat mixer. Be sure to mix thoroughly to ensure the ingredients are spread evenly throughout the meat.
  3. Pinch off a small piece of the sausage and cook it in a frying pan let it cool and taste to see if the seasoning is to your taste.
  4. Stuff by hand or by using a sausage stuffer or sausage stuffing attachment for an electric meat-grinder. (Note: do NOT use the blade in meat-grinder when stuffing and it is best to use a stuffing (bean) plate). If you wish, You can also form patties without casings.
  5. See cooking instructions below.

Baking or Grilling Instructions:

  1. Prick bratwurst with fork to prevent them from exploding as they cook. Place in a large stock pot with the onions, butter, and beer. Place pot over medium heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
  3. Lightly oil grate. Cook bratwurst on preheated grill for 10 to 14 minutes, turning occasionally to brown evenly. 

Smoking Instructions:

  1. Preheat your smoker or grill to about 225 degrees F.
  2. Place the sausages on an indirect side away from the heat. Add wood to the heat right after the meat goes on, and smoke for only 30 to 60 minutes at the start while the meat is cold. There should be no need to turn the meat.
  3. Heat for at least 1 hour, but check the internal temp with a digital meat thermometer and make sure the internal meat temperature is at least 160°F.

It’s nice to be able to carry on a family tradition that I loved as a child. I can honestly say that my kids are big fans of homemade sausage and it is my hope these recipes will live on.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published January 9th, 2017
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How to Make Pemmican: A Step-By-Step Guide January 3, 2017

dried-beefWe’re going to do an introduction on making pemmican, a survival and backpacking food that can be used all year round as well as prepared anytime.  It is a lot simpler to make than most people realize, and does not take up a whole lot of resources or too much time.  Pemmican can be stored for long periods of time and can give you a ready source of protein when you don’t have the time to cook up a large meal.  Sure, you can buy a whole pallet of it at a time from Costco, but when your supply runs out, how do you replenish it after the SHTF?  Well, this piece gives you the basics of how to do that.

Pemmican is the Original Superfood

Pemmican is similar to jerky, but it isn’t: it’s a little different.  It is actually the original processed meat, “invented” if you will, by the Indian tribes to provide a way to preserve the meat from their wild game.  Now, as I mentioned to you in previous articles, man needs fats in his diet and vitamins as well that are not able to be furbished completely by wild game.  Here is where it becomes tricky: the Indians had to supplement their meat with fish, vegetables, herbs, and fruits both wild-crafted and raised to well-round their diets.  Pemmican well-rounded the Indians diet by adding some fats as well as some vitamins and minerals to the protein.

Pemmican is the result of drying the meat in thin strips, grinding it and pulverizing it into powder, adding liquefied fat and seasonings, and re-drying it to form the finished product.  That’s it!  The Indians had deer, elk, buffalo (bison), and antelope to use.  Most pemmican these days is made of beef and comes in a family-friendly, happy plastic bag with food grade desiccant.  This method I’m going to give to you is bare bones to make your pemmican.  Here it is:

Jeremiah’s Pemmican Recipe

What You Will Need:

  • 4 cups of extra lean meat…this is about a pound/a pound and a half…pick your meat
  • 4 cups of dried fruits, such as raspberries, blueberries, or even raisins
  • 2 cups of fat (after rendering), or about ½ pound of weight
  • Seasonings: I prefer dried onion and garlic powder, salt, pepper, etc.
  • Sweeteners: You can also use some molasses or honey if you wish

The Process:

  1. Slice up your meat in long, thin slices (as thin as possible).  One way to slice it thin is to have regular pieces of meat, and harden it in the freezer.  Don’t freeze it!  You just want the meat to be “sliceable”, but more “solid” than just barely-refrigerated meat or meat at room temperature.  Then you can add your seasonings.  Rub it in with your hands, spreading it evenly over the sliced pieces.

2. Next set that meat on the rack of your oven, and keep the temperature as low as you can go…around 135 to 150 degrees F.  Permit the oven door to be gapped/cracked during the process, as this will cut down on the humidity and water building up from the drying.  Do this for 12-16 hours, until your meat is dried out and akin to a potato chip…brittle, or crisped.

3. Pulverize this meat in any way that you wish (mortar and pestle, hammer, food processor…whatever works).  Pulverize your dried fruits (you may have to dry them even further than when you first get them).  Next comes the liquefied fat to add…first you must liquefy it.  This is called “rendering,” and you can do it in a saucepan or in a crock pot, after you cut up the fat into pieces that will easily dissolve.  Beef tallow is the best…you can pick this up from a butcher shop.  You can use pork lard; however, I don’t recommend it because it doesn’t keep as long or as well as the beef fat.

4. All of your chopped-up beef and fruit can be placed in a large pan…such as a baking or casserole pan for the addition of the fat.  Do not use the fat until it has been liquefied completely, and you’ll have to remove the solid portions of any bits floating in it…use a small sieve/strainer to scoop these pieces out by hand.  For the sweeteners (such as molasses or honey) I like to take about a quarter cup and mix it into the meat prior to the addition of the liquefied fat.

5. Then carefully pour your hot rendered fat all over the meat, allowing the fat to be absorbed by your powdered mixture.  You need to take your time with this step, and then smooth/pat the fat into place with your hands to further enable the even distribution of the fat into the meat.  A good cook uses his or her hands.  A great cook washes their hands before using them to cook!

6. When this congeals and hardens, you can cut it into strips or whatever shapes your heart desires.  I personally like to use a pair of scissors (a pair I only use for food and cooking), and cut them into elongated strips about 1” in width and 6” in length.  The reason I make them this size is that they’re easier to pull out and eat.  So many times, with store-bought pemmican you have to rip it all to pieces just to cram it into your awaiting maw.  “Not I,” said the little red hen!  I want to eat leisurely and not waste effort or energy ripping my food into bite-sized pieces. You can store this best either in plastic or in wax paper (I prefer the latter) and then flatten it out, and throw it into Ziploc bags.  Keep it in a cool place free of light and moisture, and it’ll be good for a long, long time.

So basically, that’s it!  Simple enough, right?  Now you have the information and all you need to do now is employ it!  Just think: there’s still time to make yourself a batch before New Year comes about.  Oh, what a delightful crowd-pleaser it will be to make up some and have everyone eat it all up right in front of your eyes!  Partygoers and piranhas have one difference: both eat everything until they’re filled up, but the piranhas don’t also grab some extra to take home with them!  You make up a batch of jerky and (if they haven’t eaten it all) they’ll take it!  Just make sure to keep some set aside for yourself so that you can enjoy what you made.  Happy New Year to all!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published January 3rd, 2017
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