I have wanted to try canning meat for some time now. This week my Aunt called to let us know that they had a cow going in to be butchered and wanted to know if we needed any beef. It was actually perfect timing since we just ran out of ground beef last week. (We buy all of our meat from local sources, mostly family members and neighbors) So, I took this opportunity to have 30 pounds of meat cut for canning. The butcher cut the meat in 1-2 inch pieces and put it in 2 large bags.
I used a recipe from the Ball Blue Book of preserving to can the beef. Here are the directions.
Cut meat into 1 ½ – 2 inch cubes, removing fat and gristle. Simmer meat in water to cover until hot throughout. Add ½ teaspoon of salt for pints and 1 teaspoon for quarts, if desired. (I did some with and some without) Pack hot meat into hot jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Ladle hot cooking liquid over meat, leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust 2 piece caps. Process pints 1 hour and 15 minutes, quarts 1 hour and 30 minutes, at 10 pounds pressure in a steam-pressure canner.
It was actually really easy. The more I use my pressure canner, the more comfortable I get with it. I have one Mirror pressure canner with the jiggle weight and one Presto canner with the dial gauge, so I can have 14 quarts going at once. Because I like to multi-task I prefer the Mirror canner. For this batch, 30 pounds of meat yielded 19 quarts, although I’m sure you could pack a little more meat in each jar.
I am really looking forward to having the convenience of opening a precooked jar of meat for shredded beef sandwiches, BBQ beef or a quick soup. My mother-in-law used to can venison in this manner. If the Handyman gets a deer or two this year, I might try that too.