Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How I Can Ground Beef


Ground beef for the pantry shelves!

Saturday morning I drove to Binghamton (NY) to MaineSource Restaurant and Party Supply Warehouse to buy some meat to can. Since we do not have any refrigeration at the moment, I have to find the best way to store meats for longer periods. Especially when it gets so hot. I drive to the store early in the morning and get home as quickly as possible to start my work.



Browning the meat

I purchased 20 lbs. of ground Angus beef. The smartest way to do this would be to have everything sitting on the table before you go to town to buy the meat. I didn't do that. Regardless, the the first thing to do is to brown your meat. I used four large cast iron skillets to do this.

Draining the grease off


You can skip this step but I do it to drain off as much grease as I can. The reason is too much grease could cause the jars not to seal. Sometimes I rinse it with water. This hamburger though is called Angus ground and is not as greasy as others. So I was able to skip the rinsing.

Bring the meat and water to boiling

After you drain the meat you put it in a stock pot and add water to cover it. Then bring it to a boil. Now it is ready to can. Hopefully you have everything ready. That means the jars are clean and filled with hot water, though some people put them in a kettle of water that is simmering. I don't do that. Have your lids and rims in hot water and everything you need in your work area. You can add salt for flavoring if desired. I don't.

Have all your supplies ready!

Take out a rim and lid and dry completely and then fill your jar with the meat, then fill with the broth until it is one half inch from the top. Wipe the rim of the jar as much as you can and make sure there is no grease remaining on it. When canning meat you do not want to have any grease on the rim of the jar or the lids and rims. Grease is the #1 thing that will cause your jars not to seal! Do not forget that!

Fill the jars one at a time

After each jar is filled put it into the pressure canner (MUST be a pressure canner and not a pressure cooker!) which should have three inches of water simmering in the bottom. Make sure you have a rack setting in the bottom as your jars will break if they are sitting directly on the bottom of the canner. You can use a folded dish towel for the bottom if you do not have a rack.

Exhausting the canner

After you have securely fastened the top of your canner, turn the heat up and let the canner exhaust for ten minutes. Then put the regulator or weight on and wait for it to reach 10 lbs. pressure.  Once it has reached there you can regulate it by adjusting the heat to keep it at a constant 10 lbs. For quarts of ground meat my canning book says to can for 1 hour and 30 minutes. When it is finished turn off the heat and let it set. The canner will make a noise about 20 minutes later when the gauge reaches zero. Then it is time to remove the regulator or weight. Let is sit for a few minutes, open the canner holding the lid away from you. That steam will be very hot! 

 All finished!

Take the jars out being very careful as they are hot. Cool air could crack them so be very careful where you put them. Put them somewhere they can sit for 24 hours without being disturbed. I set mine on a folded towel on the table or counter. There you are, you have canned your meat. So 20 lbs. of ground beef gave me 10 quarts of meat and broth and about 13 man sized hamburgers. It was well worth the time and effort! What about you? What have you canned lately? Or don't you can anything yet? Why not?

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole

 
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