How to Eat Like a Caveman with Steven Rinella – MeatEater

How to Eat Like a Caveman with Steven Rinella – MeatEater


Whenever I’m cooking dinner, or even just walking through the woods, I always catch myself thinking “what was the first
barbecue, what was the first meal” It’s an answer…we’ll never know the answer
the question but we do know a lot of things that are
interesting about how people probably first started to cook. One of the fascinating parts about the earliest meals we know about is this right here. It’s the femur taken from doll sheep. It’s a wild game animal, they live in Alaska but at the time sheep were spread largely around the northern hemisphere. We know from archaeological remains that
humans we’re dealing with animal meat and animal
bones before they had means to hunt effectively.
That is we see in their campsites remains from fires and shards of animal
bone long before we noticed in an archeological record that they’ve developed spear points and bows and arrows and things. So they were getting meat somehow. Anthropologists and archaeologists argue
that early humans rather than being hunters were scavengers and they would come across the kill and they would either maybe scare the
animals away and take the meat or the get what animals couldn’t eat and that’s probably one of the keys to early human survival.
A lot of animals that hunt and kill big game can’t get into this bone. It’s a very hard to break into a femur when it’s cold and raw. But if you find, you throw a femur into a fire and roast it in coals something happens to the bone and it’s something kind of magical because this is almost like a safe guarding the
nutrition within. And that’s the bone marrow. So I’m going to extract the marrow, just like we now understand a caveman would have done it. I’m going to bake it in a fire until the bone gets brittle. I’m going to put it on a rock, and in an anthropological term if you’d like to call this an anvil. And I’m going to take my hammer and extract the marrow. And voila! My recipe is complete. And right here we have one of the richest parts of the animal the bone marrow. Super high in fat high-energy probably a little bit high in cholesterol. Some calcium in there too. This is probably one of the earliest
meals on anatomically modern humans. But now we’re going to fast-forward the clock twenty thousand, thirty thousand years
and we’re going to get into what may be the first recipe, and by recipe I mean combining two or more ingredients. And I have right here A piece of raw meat taken off a deer. This has got a day or two, it’s gonna rot and be no good for anybody I want to preserve it. Cut it, slice it thin. Like this. And air dry it. I’ve now added months to this piece of meat’s life. But just by taking the air out of it. The bacteria likes it less, it’s
dry. I want to make bacteria like it even less. And I’m gonna take oxygen away from it
and I’m going to encase it in fat And make it like a miniature anaerobic little
pebble of meat. And I’m going to do that with my marrow. You pulverize that up. Then, you want to now make this anaerobic you want to make it
so there’s, no oxygen, no bacteria can survive on there. I take my marrow It’s liquefied and it’s just fat. It’s all
over my fingers, it’s all over everything. See all that fat on my fingers? Stir that up like that so that stuff gets coated in fat. And what we’re making is Pemmican and that’s this right here. Air-dried meat coated in fat. I’ll tell you story that’s interesting. In
the nineteen thirties, a guy was tilling a field in Canada, in Alberta and he hit what he thought was a rock. When he pulled the rock out there’s a
buffalo hide packed full of Pemmican dried like a rock and it was still edible. Just encased in fat. It’s the same
principle for making a sausage. This Pemmican I made in 2005 from buffalo marrow and dried buffalo meat. It’s still fine five years old. But that right there is a way to stretch out the good times You kill an animal, wondering what you’re going to eat in a month
month maybe you’re eating this. If you’re smart about it and these guys were definitely smart about it. If they weren’t smart, we wouldn’t be here
talking about this right now.