Saturday, November 21, 2009

Canning meat

I have been collecting lean ground beef in my freezer for a while now for the purpose of canning. I've never canned it so I thought it was high time to learn.

First thaw all of the gr. beef in your refrigerator. Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water; then fill the jars about 1/2 way full with clean water and set in a pressure canner. Turn the burner on and let the jars sit in the almost boiling water until you are ready to use them. (Apparently this is a step I could've skipped but I did it anyhow)

If you can meat you can stick it in the jars raw but my Ball Preserving book said to saute the ground beef. Saute? So how long is that? What is it supposed to look like after sauteing? Limp? Transparent? What? Because of the confusion, I cooked mine in a skillet until it was almost done. I did not use any additional oil because the greasier the meat, the more complicated it is to can. This is according to the book, not me. I also drained the grease before filling the jars. Of course you'd empty the hot water out of the jars before filling with the ground beef ;o)

Once the jars are full with 1" head space, pour in boiling water or stock until full, then wipe the rims clean and set dried lids on. Screw the metal bands on last but not too tight and set the jars in a pressure canner. Process at 11lbs of pressure for 75 min (pints) or 90 min (quarts).

When you are done, let your canner gauge return to 0 on its own and let the jars cool for 10 min before opening your canner. Voila, you have canned meat. You can put the jars on a towel on the counter in a place where there is no draft. I covered mine with an additional towel.

Usually canned meat ends up looking like a science experiment but the ground beef still looks like ground beef. Here is mine:

Now go and try it!

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