I’m not feeling well at all today and I’m losing steam quickly but I want to get this posted…
Yesterday we had our first attempt at canning cooked ground beef & turkey. During our shopping trips yesterday, we purchased five pounds of ground beef and six pounds of ground turkey. I was hoping to cook and can all of it. But I didn’t start out with a big enough pot, so the first batch will be five pounds of ground beef and three pounds of ground turkey.
Door bells ringing! Who could that be? Be right back……..
It’s my Augason Farms order! Woohoo… now we’re cooking!
I’ll blog about it tomorrow!
Sorry for the interruption… now back to canning ground beef & turkey. I ended up with a total of eight pounds of ground meat in the pot. When I reviewed the Homestead Acres video on canning cooked ground beef, she said that she doesn’t fry it, she boils it. I thought that was strange but then she said it would remove the fat. So I gave it a try. I put the meat in the pot and covered it with hot water from my cordless kettle. I mixed up the meat and water and thought to myself, “What have I done?”. All I saw in the pot was a soupy mess. I didn’t panic though, I just kept cooking it and about 30 minutes later it was back to looking like cooked ground beef, whew! Then I added 3 tablespoons of onion powder to the pot (Don’t worry about the information here. When I get a recipe perfected, I’ll post it on a recipes page here on my blog).
I think next time I’ll add the onion powder to the broth pot instead of the meat pot because I feel like most of it went down the drain when I drained the meat. I also think that I won’t cook the meat quite as long (30 minutes) next time. I’m afraid the meat might have been overcooked by the time it went through the canning process. But we’ll see what it tastes like when I open the first bottle next week (or maybe tonight).
The eight pounds of meat filled ten pint jars. I think I could have gotten 11 or 12 if I’d put a little less in each jar. I was so frantic that I just wanted to get the jars filled. Later, after speaking to my good friend Bonnie, I learned that I didn’t need to be so frantic. I was thinking that every thing had to stay “hot” to go into the pressure canner. But she told me that the jars only need to be hot so they don’t crack when you put the hot meat into them. She also gave me a tip and said to run the jars through a cycle in the dishwasher and leave them in there until you’re ready to fill them. They will stay hot enough in the dishwasher. Next time I won’t be so frantic and I’ll do all the jars at the same time, instead of four at a time. Doing it four at a time, I kept forgetting to wipe the rims of the lids and had to start over.
I’ll also clear the meat and broth pots from the stove and then get the canner and the hot water for the canner ready. As you can see, the pressure canner takes a lot of space on the stove. And the only burner that I can use to keep the pressure steady is the center burner. I’m so happy I have a five burner stove 🙂
The clock on the stove says 9:06 PM, the timer says 2:28 minutes left. 72 minutes of processing are completed. Wow, this is not something to start doing at 6 PM in the evening. There are still a couple of steps left in the canning process. One is to let the canner depressurize. (Note to self: do not remove weight when the canner is still pressurized… sorry hubby! No worries, no injuries, just a lot of loud steam.) If I’d read that part of the manual, I would have left it on… doh! Anyway, it says that if you do remove it before the canner pressure reaches zero, you could crack the jars or liquid could escape from the jars. Hopefully the weight wasn’t off long enough for either to happen.
Canning is now done (about an hour later) and we have ten cans of ground beef & turkey for use in spaghetti, chili, Hamburger Pie or any other recipe that I’ll be using that calls for ground beef. If you’ve never tried mixing the two (beef and turkey) in a recipe, you should try it!
The next morning I removed the rings, cleaned the jars, labeled them and put them in the box to put in the pantry. I can’t wait to use a jar to see how they turned out. Maybe I’ll use it tonight with the Augason farms chili mix that just arrived today. I’ll let you know!
“thirty milk camels with their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten foals.” – Genesis 32:15 NKJV