Each year, we purchase a side of beef, or a whole cow, depending on prices.
While it’s awesome to have all that meat, storing it used to present a problem. I don’t have a lot of freezer space. And there was this one time that the freezer went out on me days after I got the full cow in there. So, we had to make a bit of a change. We no longer rely solely on the freezer to store our beef. I am going to share with you how to can your own beef.
This is great no only for when you purchase in large quantities, but we love to be able to take it camping with us.
Having canned ground beef, or stew meat makes it so much easier to “dump and heat” for a quick and easy meal. It’s all the convenience of fast food at your fingertips and much healthier to boot. While you only need a few things to can beef, keep in mind safety factors. First, you MUST pressure can this. It doesn’t matter if your great aunt or grandma used to water bath it, it’s not safe. We know more about germs, botulism and such than they used to. Water bath canning for low acid foods like beef is not enough to kill those germs. And, you wont be able to taste, smell or see the toxins on there. So, just don’t. Please.
Okay, first, there are two methods to canning beef, venison or the like.
The first is the raw pack method. I use this for stew meats and roasts cut down into chunks. The second is the hot pack method which involves precooking the meat. I use this for ground meats. To fill the jars, you will need a pound per pint, or 2 pounds per quart. Remember the old saying, “A pint’s a pound, the world around”? Totally true here.
For stew meat, using the raw pack method.
Simply add the beef into the jars and cover with boiling broth or water. I like to use broth to add an element of flavor. Leave 1 inch headspace. Wipe the jar rim, cover with a new lid and clean band and finger tighten.
For the hot pack method, mainly used for hamburger
Simply precook the hamburger. I don’t take off the grease, I put it into the jars with the meat. Fill the jars with hot broth or water, leaving 1 inch headspace. Process both for 80 minutes pints, 90 minutes quarts at 10 pounds pressure, adjusting for your altitude. Allow the canner to cool on it’s own accord, remove the jars and set in a non drafty place for 24 hours. Any that didn’t seal need to be used up within 3 days, while being stored in the fridge.
To use your canned meat, simply add to your favorite recipes.
We like to add a bit of butter while heating the ground beef, and the canned stew pieces make for a wonderful beef and noodles, or beef soup. What are some of the ways you would use the canned beef? Tacos, spaghetti, pizza?