Canning Beef & Recipes

Last month I shared my first experience canning salmon.  All things considered, I think it went very well. Now I want to try my hand at canning beef!

Armed with my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving and a Kindle e-book I bought called I Can Can Beef written by Jennifer Shambrook, Ph. D., I decided I would try the hot pack method versus cold pack.  With cold pack, all you do is cut your beef up into uniform 1″ chunks, pack it into the jar (no water or broth) and then process in a pressure canner the allotted time.  The beef will create it’s own broth within the jar, but will also shrink quite a bit.  I decided to hot pack because I want to add just a little bit of flavor with a beef broth, and hot packing avoids some (not all) meat shrinkage versus the cold pack method. You can research this and decide for yourself which method you will use.

Pressure canning beef chunksI cut all of my beef roast into 1″ cubes, trying to keep each piece as uniform in size as possible, cutting off as much fat as possible. The beef cubes were then browned in just a smidgen of oil on all sides.  This creates a little bit more flavor and also helps to shrink the meat a bit before it is canned. Once the beef is browned, I packed it into the jars – not too tight – then added my homemade beef broth with a little salt and pepper.   I could have just as easily added tomato juice or even red wine.  Canning beef in a pressure cookerOne word of caution:  when using the hot pack method, everything must be hot!  The jars need to be hot, the meat will be hot, the liquid must be hot and the water in the pressure canner should also be getting pretty hot by the time the jars are placed inside.  This is necessary to prevent thermal shock to the jar.  If the jar is exposed to large temperature differences very quickly, it might crack or even shatter.

You don’t want that to happen.      It’s not pretty.

One interesting idea I found in the I Can Can Beef book was a recipe for chili beans.  The author suggests that if you are canning beef and don’t have a full load for the canner, you can add dried beans in a jar with a few spices (her recipe is in the book), a little water and – voila you have some jars of chili beans to pressure cook alongside the beef!  If you are going to use the energy to can, you might as well have a full canner!  I had a lot of black turtle beans I grew last summer on my pantry shelf, so I made some chili beans with the black beans, following Dr. Shambrook’s recipe!

Pressure canned beef I followed the Ball Home Preserving Book recommendations and pressure canned the pint jars for 75 minutes after a full 10 minutes of venting.  I don’t have a dial gauge canner – mine uses a weighted gauge, which I put on 10 pounds of pressure, because our elevation here at our valley house is 55 feet above sea level. After the full processing time, I slid the canner to the opposite side of the stove, and left it to sit and cool down for a couple of hours.

Pressure Canning with Tattler Lids

A product that has sparked my interest lately has been the Tattler canning lids.  Unlike the conventional flat metal lids that must be thrown away after each use, Tattler Lids can be used many, many times.  This idea sounds great to me, because I just hate disposable things – with a passion! ♥  It is a bit harder to tell if you have a good seal with the Tattler lids, and you will never hear that “ping” to tell you the seal is complete.  Instead, the lid is rigid plastic with a separate rubber gasket, and the best way to tell if you have a good seal is to actually pick up the jar by the lid!  If it stays on – you are good to go! This was the first time I used a Tattler lid in the Pressure Canner.  As you can see from the above picture – I got a good seal!  I am really starting to like these lids.  A lot!   No more running to the store to buy more lids!  Hooray!

You can easily find the entire procedure on how to can beef (or chicken, pork, etc.) just about anywhere on the internet nowadays. Just make sure it’s an up-to-date recipe because apparently some of the processing times have changed over the years.  Also, remember that you must ALWAYS pressure can beef – or any kind of meat for that matter.  I was glad to have the Ball Home Preserving book right in front of me so I could check and double check the procedure as I was canning the beef.

How does it taste? Pressure canned beef recipe I couldn’t wait to find out!   I opened a couple of the jars within 24 hours of canning them!  I know… patience is a virtue, but I wanted to see if I could make some good chili with a jar of the meat, a jar of the black beans I had canned with the meat, and a jar of tomato sauce I had canned last winter. The first thing I did was shred the beef from one jar into smaller chunks. Then, I added the jar of beans and the tomato sauce and dumped it all in the pot.  I heated it up and let it simmer for about 10 minutes and tasted it.  It was good, but could use a little bit more zip. 🙂  So I added one scant teaspoon of red pepper flakes and about half of a teaspoon of Sriracha sauce.  I let that simmer to mingle the flavors for another 5 minutes or so and tasted again.  Perfect!  And super easy!Pressure Canned Beef Chili

The best part about Dr. Shambrook’s book “I Can Can Beef” is that she includes over a dozen recipes using the beef!  Now that’s refreshing!  Recipes such as Beef Stroganoff,  Asian Pepper Beef, and even Granny’s Beef Hash, this book gives you lots of ideas on what to do with all that beef you have canned!  Please note that I am not affiliated in any way with Dr. Shambrook or her book – she doesn’t even know who I am!  I just wanted to suggest to anyone who cans beef or is planning to can beef, and then wants to know what to do with it, that they look into getting this book!  However, I think she is missing one really good recipe in her book…  Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry!  Since she didn’t include it, and the canned beef would lend itself well to this recipe, I am sharing my version of Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry here:

Canned beef and Broccoli recipe

Have you canned beef before?  I am just learning how to pressure can meats, fish and (soon) poultry and it’s actually a lot of fun!  I am so glad I decided to take the plunge and learn this new skill, although I will admit I was a bit scared of nervous about pressure canning.  In our quest to be as self sufficient and sustainable as possible, I believe canning meat, poultry and fish will be an invaluable resource for us.  Canning a majority of our food will free up freezer space for those things that I don’t want to can, such as broccoli, corn and zucchini.  I think my next experiment will be to can some chicken noodle soup, minus the noodle, and see how that goes!  Wish me good luck!

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22 thoughts on “Canning Beef & Recipes

  1. Hello Vickie,
    which is once again an excellent post, from which one can learn a great deal.
    Do please keep it up ….. We find your blog and your post great.
    Thanks for hosting

    Kind regards
    Uwe

    • Please watch the head height that you leave for your canned meats – follow the instructions carefully here to assure that you obtain a good seal. Also do not use any canning jars that have any type of nick or defect on the rim – again these would prevent you from obtaining a good seal. Do not lift the weight off of the canner until AFTER the pressure is at zero. If it is removed beforehand in an attempt to lower the pressure in the canner you will ruin the product. The drastic drop in pressure (from inside the canning jar to outside) will cause the liquid in the jar to be drawn outside of it. This will leave remnants of food particles on the lip of the jar and even though you may think you have a good seal bacteria now has a pathway into your jar of food.

      Botulism is not anything to take chances on since you can’t tell by sight or smell if your meat has been affected – not until you or your family get sick.

      Because of the risk I would not use the tattler lids on these types of foods. Just holding the jar up by the lid to see if it has sealed is not an accurate test. If any food stuffs have made it up in between the lid and the rim of the jar they can give you a false positive (even if the food stuffs have just bridged over on the inside from the side of the jar to the plastic lid). Meaning the food goo can glue/ahere the lid to the jar but it’s not really sealed good.

      It is also a good idea to leave the food items inside the canner until the canner water has come back to room temperature then remove them from the warm water and sit until the product temp inside the jar has come down to room temp before wiping down the outside of the jar and lid before storing them away.

      Another tip for canning in the pressure canner is to add 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar to the bath water to help keep the water marks from the glass canning jars.

      • All very good advice and ones that I follow! I will say that I have decided not to use the Tattler lids for pressure canning, for all the reasons you stated and even more. I have heard that the high heat of pressure canning makes the lids and the rubber rings break down faster, so they don’t last very long. I will continue to use them, however, with my pickles, jams and fruit! Thanks for such wonderful information, and come back again!

  2. awesome job Vickie!! When I canned my meat, I just put it under the broiler for a min or so, worked well! Then rinse it to remove any of the excess fat. I did the same with the beans but used pintos. Definitely better to run a full pot then not!! Have a totally awesome week!!

  3. I don’t get to leave that many comments, but this Chili was fantastic! The beans, spices and meat made for a wonderful tasting bowl of chili, not too mention the yummy cornbread to compliment it… Gotta luv being the guinea pig for all those food experiments… Of course now I need to run on the tredmil for another mile or two…
    Hubby! 🙂

    • Hmmm… at the moment I don’t have a pressure canner either! I tried to can another batch, but the canner kept spewing steam – not from the vent but from where the handles screw into the pot! Sure enough, when my husband checked it out he saw that the aluminum had warped a bit and so I wasn’t getting a good seal! Not to worry, however, because sweet hubby told me to buy another pressure canner and to get a good one! So – I got an All-American! 🙂 I have always wanted one of these gasket-less puppies, and now I have one coming in the mail! Wahoo!

  4. Canning is a lot of work, but the reward of seeing all those preserves are worth it! If I can get a good buy on beef this year, I am going to try my hand at canning it. Thank you for sharing at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great week!
    Blessings, Deborah

    • Me too. Now that I have done it and realize that it isn’t too difficult, I am going to jump on the next meat sale and can up a whole bunch! Thanks, Deborah!

  5. Canning meat, I am so impressed! I’ve always wanted to learn how to can vegetables, but never have. My grandmother did, mom too, but I never paid attention. I need to fix that!
    Thanks so much for sharing at Amaze Me Monday…
    Blessings,
    Cindy

  6. Thanks! I just had to check out your link too 🙂 I started pressure canning beans which grew into chicken broth which is fabulous and meat is next! We will butcher come winter and these cans will help to free up my freezer… Thanks for sharing your canning tip!

  7. I was just searching photos to see if what I canned today – looks like anyone elses – LOL and YOU did the same two recipes as me!! but, I did “cold pack” and was concerned about the beans – they don’t seem to have enough liquid and people I know are saying it should be 1/2 C beans instead of 3/4 C per pint – what do you think? how did you beans taste? Diane

    • Hello, Diane! My beans turned out great! I just loved the flavor, though I add just a touch more spice now. At first, when I looked at the jars of beans without opening them, I thought there wasn’t enough liquid and that the beans would be tough because the liquid line was below the bean line. However, the beans were cooked to perfection! I added them to my beef along with tomatoes and some red chili flakes and mmmmmmmm…… so good! I will be making these recipes over and over again, especially the beef! I have added greek yogurt and mushrooms to the beef and poured over noodles for beef stroganoff, have added broccoli with soy sauce, red pepper and a dash of sesame oil for beef and broccoli poured over rice, and I have even shredded the beef, added BBQ sauce and sloshed that into hamburger buns for shredded beef sandwiches! The possibilities are endless! Thanks for stopping by today, Diane – hope to hear from you again soon!

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