My husband and I will be living in our travel trailer for the next two years while we build our new home, which is a good thing. However, our trailer has a very small refrigerator/ freezer, which is a bad thing. I would really prefer not to drive the 45 minute trip down the hill to the grocery store every few days, or even once a week, so canning and dehydrating our food has become a new priority for me.
If I use one jar of beef, one jar of chicken, one jar of fish and a jar of pork every week for dinner, this would cut down on the need to keep meat in the small freezer, freeing up space for other necessary items – like ice cream! 😀 So far I have canned chicken (and chicken broth), salmon, spaghetti sauce with meat and beef cubes. You can find all of these recipes in the tab above under “Preserved Food”. I found a recipe in my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving for Beef in Wine and thought I would try it!
The process was actually quite simple. I cut the beef into cubes and then browned it in some oil. The best part about pressure canning beef, is that you can use the cheapest cuts of beef because the prolonged cooking under pressure tenderizes the beef!I browned it pretty good because in the original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of “browning and seasoning sauce”, which I find to be unnecessary if you brown your meat good in the first place! I deglazed the pan with the water and red wine called for in the recipe, so I could get all of the yummy-ness and flavor from the bottom of the pan.
Next, the apples and carrots were grated, and the onion and garlic sliced and minced. These were added to the stock pot along with the meat and deglazing liquid, a little bit of salt and a couple of bay leaves, as per the recipe. The whole mixture was allowed to simmer for about an hour on the stove. Believe it or not, as the mixture was simmering, the grated apples pretty much melted away, into a nice, rich sauce! It smelled absolutely awesome! The hot mixture was ladled into hot pint jars (perfect size for just the two of us) and processed in the Pressure Canner for 75 minutes.
Remember to always process low acid foods in a pressure canner for the correct amount of time. I have been doing all of my canning lately in my backyard, which is wonderful. It doesn’t heat up my kitchen and it gives me a chance to sit back and enjoy nature while I babysit the canner! 😀
As usual, I couldn’t wait to try it! Oftentimes, if there is a jar that doesn’t seal, I will use that one right away. With this batch, however, everything sealed, so I had to open a “good” jar. I dumped one jar into a sauce pan, added a couple of quartered crimini mushrooms and two teaspoons of cornstarch. This mixture was allowed to simmer softly until the sauce was thickened and the meat was heated through.
You can eat this “as is” or pour the Beef in Red Wine Sauce over pasta, rice or even mashed potatoes. I had previously purchased some pasta from our local Grocery Outlet that was labeled “non-GMO” and “Organic”. It didn’t cost much more than the regular stuff I had been buying, but I found it interesting that neither of these pastas were made in the USA – one was made in Germany and the other in Romania. In those countries they have food labeling laws, unlike ours, that lets the consumer know what they are eating. I decided to use the one from Germany. Believe it or not, it was the pasta that took the longest time to cook! The beef in Red Wine sauce was bubbling away happily long before the pasta was al dente.
Man-O-Man was this good! The beef was still in chunks, so it wasn’t mushy at all, which was a worry of mine. The sauce was excellent! Two teaspoons was all that was necessary to make it nice and thick but with lots of flavor. I think next time I may add some sour cream instead of the cornstarch, so it will be more like a stroganoff! Of course, I could always add potatoes, carrots and celery for a stew, or as the base of a beef pot pie! Lots of possibilities with this one.
This is the recipe I used, adapted from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving:
What I am finding, dear friends, is that canned foods such as this, are actually like fast food – it takes less than 15 minutes to have dinner on the table! With the variety of ways to prepare it, I don’t think monotony or food ruts will be a problem. What do you think?
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