Let's start with the very easiest meat to home can: stew meat. This can be beef or venison, including moose and elk meat. I put by more stewing meat than any other type of meat, besides ground. The reason for this is that I can use it for such a wide variety of recipes, from shredded meat for tamales and barbecue, to stews, chunky chili, and casseroles.
I like to cut my meat when it is slightly frozen. This makes it firm and it cuts easily and quickly. Warm meat or even chilled meat is harder to slice than meat that has some ice crystals in it.
To make stew meat, cut the meat across the grain, into one inch thick slices, as if you were making large steaks. You don't have to cut the bone, just cut around it. Remove as much fat, gristle, and white muscle covering as you can. You want your home canned meat to be prime eating, and if you leave too much fat on the meat, you run the risk of having some jars not seal because the fat gets between the lid and rim of the jar during processing. Slice the meat into strips, then cut it into cubes.
Put the meat into a large mixing bowl and the scraps into another.
Venison and beef stew meat and steaks make quick, nutritious, instant meals.
When you have a large amount, get out your canning jars and line them up on a folded clean towel on the table. Make sure there are no cracks or nicks in the rims of the jars. Then get out a box or two of lids, so you make sure you have them ready. Also find your jar rings and jar lifter. Set the pressure canner on the stove and put two inches of water in it, then the basket or bottom grate, depending on the brand of canner you are using.
Now get out your largest frying pan and put a tablespoonful of cooking oil in it and turn up the heat to medium. Add your meat until you have enough to fill the pan so the cubes are about two high. The reason you need to brown and partially cook the meat is twofold; it shrinks it, while adding flavor, and it heats the meat, getting it ready to process safely.
Season as you wish and stir until the meat is just browning.
Turn on the heat under your canner, leaving it open. Then place your canning lids in a small saucepan full of water and turn on the heat. Bring to simmering, then hold the lids in the hot water until you need them.
Now, with a slotted spoon, scoop up the meat and pack into your jars, to within an inch of the top of the jar. This leaves an inch of headspace. After all the jars have been packed, add enough water to the frying pan to make a broth to fill your jars. I sometimes add powdered beef soup stock to this broth to make it more "beefy" tasting. This is not necessary, though. When the broth is boiling, ladle it out and pour it into each jar, filling it to within an inch of the top of the jar.
Wipe the rim of each jar quickly with a clean damp cloth to remove any grease or meat particles. Place your hot, previously simmered lid on the jar and screw down the ring firmly tight. Place the hot jars into your hot canner, being careful not to bang them together. When all your jars have been placed in the canner, put on the lid and tighten it down. Leave the pressure weight off or leave the petcock(s) open, depending on the brand of canner you are using. Turn up the heat under the canner.
You must let the canner heat up and exhaust steam. This generally takes about ten minutes, although it can take longer when you have many jars in it. You want the steam to be exhausting forcibly, not just puttering out in little spurts and spits.
Meat must be canned at 10 pounds pressure, unless you live at an altitude above 1,000 feet above sea level. If you do, you must adjust your pressure to suit your altitude by the following chart:
Pints and half-pints of pork, beef and venison, including moose and elk meat, should be processed for 75 minutes, and quarts must be processed for 90 minutes.
When the time for processing the meat is up, immediately turn off the heat under the canner or remove the canner from the heat.
Let the pressure gauge return to zero or when using a weight gauge, let the canner cool for about 10 minutes, then gently nudge the weight. If it is still under pressure, a little spurt of steam will escape. If this happens, let it cool more. When no steam spurts out, remove the weight and open the canner carefully. Use caution when lifting the canner lid, as there is always more steam in it that will escape right into your face unless you're careful.
Immediately lift out the jars with your jar lifter, and set them on a dry, folded towel out of any drafts. Setting a hot jar in a draft can cause cracking or a failed seal. Keep the jars an inch or two apart to allow for quick and thorough cooling, as this helps the jars to seal well.
As the jars seal, the lids will "boing" and "ping" intermittently. The liquid in the jars will still be vigorously boiling. This is normal. Do not poke at or even touch the lids while they are sealing; it can cause seals to fail. After the jars are cool to the touch, check the seals. A tight, dipped in the center lid is sealed. One that pushes down, then pops back up is not sealed. Refrigerate or
re-process unsealed jars right away, using a new hot, previously simmered lid. Inspect any jar that doesn't seal for a tiny crack in the rim of the jar, often this is the reason they don't seal.
Hello sparkfamily! Please visit my page to see the teams that I lead as all of them will not fit here! I am looking forward to seeing you there! Remember to keep HEALTHY at the top of your daily list! You can do it! Hugs, Rose:))
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