I like to have a variety of foods in storage and having a selection of canned meats appeals to me. While thinking about what kinds of meat to can, I decided that bacon or sausage are two I would like to have on hand.
There are several YouTube videos out there showing how people can strips of bacon by wrapping them in parchment paper before putting them into jars. I have never tried this, so I can't attest to the success or failure of this method. I buy the boxes of bacon ends and pieces. Usually there are some nice slices included and those I package and freeze for future use. There are usually some good sized chunks of lean bacon and some of those I will freeze for later use in canning pork and beans. The rest I slice into about one-inch pieces and fry them until lightly browned and then drain, saving the bacon grease, and pack the bacon bits into half pint jars. Wipe the rims of the jars well, add a lid and ring and process in a pressure canner for 75 minutes.
Bacon canned this way has lots of uses. I like eggs scrambled with bacon pieces and cheese. They can be used as bacon bits on a green salad. They can be sprinkled on scalloped potatoes for extra flavor. They can be used in one of those breakfast casseroles. The possibilities are endless. And the bacon grease keeps nearly forever in the fridge or freezer. I use the grease in biscuits, cornbread, for frying potatoes, etc. I consider the bacon grease a bonus.
Sausage is canned basically the same way. I brown it like you would hamburger for sloppy joes and then drain it. It is packed into jars and pressure canned same as the bacon. Sausage canned this way can be used anywhere one would use sausage crumbles. I use it the same as the bacon bits and have added it to spaghetti sauce or tomato based casseroles. It is really handy to have for biscuits and sausage gravy. It makes a nice change of pace and just another variety of meat to have on hand. I have heard of some who can sausage patties by browning them, packing them into wide mouth pint jars, covering with broth and processing in the pressure canner. I have not tried this, but I think I might experiment with it and see how I like sausage canned that way.
We hear people talk all the time about storing rice and beans. I store rice and beans, too. But a diet of rice and beans would get old in a hurry without a variety of additions to make them more palatable especially over a long period of time. Canning bacon and sausage is just one way to make life a bit better in a lengthy shelter in place situation.
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