I put the boiled hamburger into a baggie; there were lots of large and medium sized chunks. Later on, before putting the hamburger into the dehydrator, I used a coffee mug to mash up the chunks before taking it all out of the baggie. I only have one plastic liner for leathers/barks, so I used a regular tray as a guide to cut out some big circles from parchment. I ended up using 3 trays, but probably should have done 4, since five pounds (minus 2 hamburger patties for dinner) was crowded on 3 trays. I still had a few smallish chunks after putting it all onto the trays, so I mashed those down with a fork.
About ten hours later, hubby put the dehydrated hamburger into a baggie for me, then put it in the fridge. I'm not sure it needed to be in the fridge since it was bone dry by then, but we had room, and why take chances.
Today I poured the baggie of dehydrated hamburger into the blender, and used the highest setting to ground it up. I did this in batches since it looked like it would be too much to do it all at once. When it was all ground up, it looked like a cross between ground coffee and chocolate cake mix, except not quite as dark.
I had poured all the broth into a sherbet container, and put it in the fridge. When I took it out, the top layer of fat was harder than I imagined (I've never worked with such a large amount of beef fat, only chicken which is softer even when chilled). I ran a butter knife around the inner edges of the container, then use the butter knife to stab the fat in the middle, while holding the sherbet container over my rice cooker.
I thought it was pretty cool when the solid piece of fat stayed on the butter knife, while the gelatinous broth fell cleanly into the rice cooker LOL. There was a little gunk on the bottom layer of fat, which I rinsed off with tap water (it's hot today, so the water was already a little warm, which helped wash the gunk off without melting the fat).
I added a bit of water to the broth to bring it up the next level (4), then added 4 cupfuls of rice (my rice cooker came with its own cup that correlates with the raised measurement lines in the rice cooker), and turned it on.
I put the hamburger fat in the electric skillet to make sure it didn't have anymore liquid in it, and after it heated for a while I poured it into a measuring cup -- 1 3/8 cup. I measured 1 3/8 cup of dehydrated hamburger, then lined a cookie sheet with foil, and spread out the hamburger on it, then slowly poured the fat over it while slightly mixing with a large spoon. As I was mixing and spreading everything around, it reminded me of spreading warmed chocolate chips over toffee. I took a small taste and it was very bland, so I sprinkled about 1/4 tsp salt over it.
It looked pretty greasy once it was mixed up and spread out, but I put it in the freezer so it would harden more quickly. I hope I didn't misunderstand the directions about putting equal amounts of fat and meat in -- maybe it meant weight instead of volume?
Since putting it in the freezer, I played Mafia Wars, then came here to update the experiment series, and just checked on it in the freezer -- it setup really fast! I used a butterknife to score it into small pieces about 1/2" x 1". I tasted one, and it was greasy and crunchy, but at least the salt made it taste better. I don't see either of us eating these by themselves like we did with the hamburger jerky I made before evacuating Hurricane Rita -- that was yummy. The only thing I see us using this pemmican in is meat sauces, rice dishes, or beans.
One other thing I didn't consider when I decided to try making pemmican: The main reason I want shelf-stable meats is that we occasionally lose power where I live, even if a hurricane hasn't struck near us. If we have no power, then it gets pretty hot, and the fat in the pemmican would seperate from the dried meat, oops!
So after I package it up into meal-sized portions, it's going to stay in the freezer in case of power loss. At least it will take a few days before the freezer warms up enough to separate the fat from the dried meat (I insulate the fridge/freezer if power goes out). Mabye the Indians that used pemmican lived in a cooler climate 8^)
I'll blog later about how it went after using the pemmican in a recipe.
Meanwhile, the rice finished, cooled enough to put the inner pot of the rice cooker in the fridge, and later I'll put the rice into one-gallon baggies for the freezer, ala Biggie's freezer storage tip, so all I'll have to do is thaw rice for dinner over the next few weeks.