Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Canning beef

canner on the wood stoveDad, Danny, and I worked on cutting the meat off the bones on Sunday and Monday. We decided to just get it done while we had the time. I don’t know that anything would have been gained by waiting. The meat would have kept fine in the chest refrigerator, I’m sure, but by getting it cut up, Anne has been able to process four canner loads so far. Jars of canned beefShe cooked roasts, and I helped her cut the meat into pieces. Then, she filled jars and ran two canner loads yesterday and two today.

Closeup of a jar of beefIt takes 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure to can meat. She filled the jars full, adding hot broth after packing the meat. The canner holds 7 quarts at a time. We were disappointed yesterday that three jars broke. There was no apparent reason for the breakage. Sadly, one of the broken jars was a favorite old jar of Anne’s (she ‘collects’ old canning jars and uses them). As near as I can figure, the grate on the bottom inside the canner which holds the jars off the bottom of the canner is transmitting too much heat to the jars. So, today, she put some canning rings under the grate to get the jars up a bit higher. No broken jars today – we’re grateful. We have a couple dogs staying with us (maybe permanently) who will enjoy the meat from the broken jars (usually, jars that break in the canner have clean breaks, but we have seen glass slivers in the past, so we don’t use the contents ourselves). So, it’s not completely wasted.

Steaks cookingWhile the second canner load was processing this evening, I fried some steaks off the backstrap. Let me tell you, they were awesomely good! Wow! We had some small steaks yesterday that I cut off of the front leg. They were good, too, but they weren’t as tender as these off the back. We have some tenderloin to cook and eat, and we’ll also have some hamburgers this week. Once it’s all canned, we won’t have the fresh meat. Canned meat is very good, though, and very convenient. We are so grateful for it.

We gave my parents and Danny a little over half of the beef. There was almost 250 pounds of beef after it was cut off the bones. We could have taken a larger portion, but we wanted to share with them. And, they appreciate it. We’re happy with the blessing of healthy, properly-raised meat!



Do you season canned meat or is it just meat in broth?


Other than a little salt, it's just meat in broth. It's very useful for a variety of meals. I suppose it could be seasoned when canned, but it's simpler for us to season it for its specific use.


I wonder if your old jar that broke had a small crack in it. We have a jar break every once in a while too and it is very heart breaking. I love having canned meat, you can do so much with it. We always can the meat raw and it has worked out really well (saves a bit of time)


It's possible that it may have had a crack in it, I suppose, but Anne checks them all well before using them. I think it was heat being transferred from the bottom of the canner as it shouldn't have been. We had no jars break after putting some canning jar rings under the bottom grate.

We've raw packed the meat in the past. There was some venison that we did that way which ended up with more blood in it than we wanted. So, we've found it better to cook it first so that any cooked blood can be strained out. Either way, it's great having the canned meat to use!

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