Editors note: Original Article can be found here on survivalnewsonline.com:
Hard tack is simply a bland, dry bread with the consistency of a brick. It is not particularly appetizing on its own; its virtue is in that it can be preserved for decades, even centuries, and retain some nutritional value. The whole point of hard tack is that it must be completely dehydrated in order to keep, but this also makes it nearly inedible in its preserved state. To make 3-year-old hard tack edible you must do one simple thing — soak it long enough.
Recipes for Old Hard Tack
To prepare the initial dry hard tack, follow this recipe. It’s just flour, water, and salt; very simple.
Assuming you have properly preserved your hard tack, these easy recipes should yield a tender, tasty meal even if you’re using decades-old hard tack. The secret is not to be in a hurry; getting the hard tack tender takes time.
Simple Fried Hard Tack
- Soak your hard tack 12 to 24 hours if possible. Do it in a cool place if possible, to keep it from going sour. Even if it goes sour it should still be edible when cooked; it just affects the flavor.
- Drain and place it hot skillet with lard, butter, oil, or beef fat. Fry on both sides.
- Season with salt and black pepper, and serve hot.
This makes a sort of cake similar to polenta, with about the same consistency.
Hard Tack and Bacon
- Soak the hard tack at least 3.5 hours, and up to 12, in a cool place.
- Render diced bacon in a skillet on low heat. Transfer bacon to a plate, leaving fat in the skillet.
- Increase heat, then fry drained hard tack on both sides.
- Transfer bacon back to skillet, add water to nearly cover hard tack. Bring to a boil. (Optional: splash with flat beer or white wine before adding water).
- Cover and simmer on low heat for 1 hour up to 3 hours, depending on desired tenderness, checking occasionally to make sure there is still water.
- Check seasoning and serve hot.
Medieval Hard Tack
- Soak hard tack at least 3.5 hours, and up to 12, in a cool place.
- On high heat, fry drained hard tack on both sides in lard, butter, oil, or beef fat. Transfer to plate, leaving fat in skillet.
- Fry minced meat of your choice on high heat, just enough to brown.
- Add chopped mushrooms and onions, saute until onions turn clear and mushrooms render their liquid.
- Splash with red wine.
- Transfer hard tack to skillet, cover with water, and bring to boil.
- Cover and simmer on low heat for 1 to 3 hours, depending on desired tenderness, adding water if necessary.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.
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