So, I’ve always wondered about canning red meat. I’ve canned a lot of fish over the years, but never gotten around to trying beef or venison. Recently, I discovered a couple of pieces of venison left in the freezer, and decided to try canning it.
I decided to just make a simple stew. The internet was full of advice and recipes of all kinds, cook the meat first, don’t cook the meat first, add liquid, don’t add liquid, but the one thing that was consistent across all the recipes I found was the pressure cooker stats. 10 psi, 75 minutes for pints, 90 minutes for quarts.
I cut the venison into pieces about an inch or so to a side, and then browned it in the cast iron dutch oven, then moved it all over to a stock pot, added some soup stock and dried shiitake mushroom powder, and simmered it for about a half an hour, adding a bay leaf for good measure.
Then I took chopped potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and parsley and packed the jars with that and the meat, divided the liquid up amongst the jars, and threw a pinch of salt into each jar.
Always wipe the rim of the jar nice and clean, and always use new lids. Tighten the rings enough to hold the lid in position, but not too tight.
And then I packed the jars into the canner and started heating it up.
However, what I had not noticed is that my well worn All American 921 had gotten roughed up in storage somehow, and as the head of steam started building, I noticed some leaking out of a crack in the pressure gauge. Ack! Not what you want to see with a hot canner full of precious food!
Fortunately, I have had a 941X sitting around for years, originally set up as a sterilizer, but I had ordered the parts to convert it to a canner years ago. I scrambled to swap the new parts over, and we unpacked the 921 and moved everything into the 941. The 941 is too big for the stove top, so we set it up on the porch with a propane burner.
When I unpacked it the next morning, I found that a few of the jars hadn’t sealed, so we got to try those out right away. It needed a little bit of salt and Worcestershire sauce, but was otherwise excellent. I have another batch heating up in the canner as I write this…