A great way to put meat into long term storage
For months now we have been hearing unsettling news. Talk of inflation and food shortages. This made me a bit worried, since our family is on one income, we don’t have a lot of wiggle room when it comes to money. But what worried me the most was the rolling blackouts that were forecast for the summer, since I have worked hard to try to get us a little stash of meat in the freezer. But the idea of blackouts, even little ones make me a bit nervous. I would rather have my investment safe and my family full.
The idea of canning isn’t new to me – but I will say I have never tried to can meat. That was a whole new experience. It really wasn’t very hard, here’s what I did…
First, I had to decide between two options. One was raw can the other hot pack. I opted for hot pack. Then a couple more decisions, I could either put the meat in the skillet and cook up batches that way or boil it. I opted for boiling for 2 reasons, one it allowed the meat to release more of the fat, and two, I could then can the “broth” that came off it. Which I did.
For this method:
I placed all the ground beef in a stock pot and covered the meat with water. At this point you can add spices. I just added a little salt. I also started the pressure canner and let it start warming up. Let the beef cook until all the done, also, it doesn’t need to be completely cooked. It will be in a pressure canner for a while that will finish cooking it. Then once done, place your meat in your jars. I used all quart jars and noticed that I got about 2 lbs/jar. After the meat is ready place it in clean hot jar and cover with boiling water. Leave 1 inch headspace, wipe rim clean and add a hot lid and ring. And place into the pressure canner. I was able to get 7 quarts in my pressure canner. Don’t worry if you don’t have a full can, you can add extra water- even the broth. I had a couple that ended up that way and figured those would be great for soups.
When your canner is full put your lid on and process the pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes. In our area I needed to have the pressure at 12 for the 90 minutes, but you will need to check your pressure canner instructions and adjust for your altitude.
Keeping the fat…
Once the canner was going, I turned my attention to the “broth” that was left over. I put it in plastic containers to let it cool. What was nice was that the fat solidified at the top and I gently skimmed it off and placed it in freezer containers. You can clarify this if you want to have a cleaner fat. But I didn’t. The little extra beef in it would be fine, I did this for my husband who likes to cook hashbrowns and the little bit beef in the fat doesn’t bother him – he really is a meat and potatoes man!
For the broth…
For the broth that was left over I canned it the next day. I brought the stock and pressure canner water to a simmer and poured it in clean hot pint jars. Using the same recommendations, wipe the rim clean, use 1 inch headspace and hot lids. Place in the pressure canner and put the lid on. Pints need 20 minutes, quarts 25 minutes. Once again in my area I need the pressure at 12 but check your instruction book and adjust for your altitude.
In the end I finished with having 14 quarts or ground beef, 10 pints of broth and 5 freezer containers of fat.
Check the blog next week where I talk about canning chicken!
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