Tuesday evening Oldest Son stopped at the store on his way home from work and bought a little over 25 pounds of beef roast that is on sale. I spent the evening removing fat and gristle from the roasts, cutting them into about one inch cubes, bagging it up and storing it in the fridge.
Wednesday afternoon my grocery delivery included another 15 pounds of beef. Cleaned and cut into cubes, that also went into the fridge.
Early this morning I started filling pint jars with beef cubes. When canning raw meat I rarely use water or broth in the jars. The meat makes its own juices during the canning process. Some like to add salt at this point, but I don't. I season the meat when I use it, and if I use bouillon as flavoring in a dish, that contains enough salt.
Because the meat is cold when I pack it into jars, I take time to get the canner up to pressure. Too much heat applied too quickly can crack jars, so I will usually take 45 minutes to an hour to heat it up. After venting the canner for ten minutes, the pints are processed at 10 lbs. pressure for 75 minutes. Quarts would take 90 minutes. (Canner pressure varies according to elevation.)
I wound up with 38 pints of cubed beef.
I really like having canned beef on my shelves. It has so many uses. I have canned quarts of potatoes, carrots and peas together and combined with the canned beef, a pint of tomatoes and a bit of dehydrated onion and seasonings, makes a wonderful beef stew. Just needs to be thickened and ladled over biscuits. I also use it in a gravy over rice, potatoes or noodles. Made into a sandwich and served with mashed potatoes and gravy, it makes a really good restaurant style hot beef sandwich. It can be added to home canned vegetable soup or mashed up with a little pickle, mayo and onion for a sandwich spread. Or it can just be heated in the oven along with home canned potatoes and carrots for a quick meal. The uses for home canned beef are limited only by one's imagination.
While the beef is processing, it is on to the carrots.
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