I know, I know. I’m probably going to scare some loyal readers away with this post. It’s against all food safety rules and regulations. But you know what? It’s not dangerous. My family has been doing this for years and never once has anyone become sick from improperly canned meat (or any other home canned food, for that matter, that I know of anyway).
If you are terrified of botulism and other such things, rest assured that if you DO open up a jar of spoiled meat or veggies, you WILL know it. Your nose will tell you. There’s no way you’d get anyone to eat it. And besides, even if there IS something nasty present, bringing the food back to a good boil before eating it would kill everything.
I have an aunt who will open a jar of cold beef and snack on the chunks. She hasn’t gotten sick yet. I think it’s weird, but perfectly fine if that’s her snack of choice!
That being said, it’s not my fault if you DO get sick. Just so you know.
But you really shouldn’t fear getting sick. It’s unlikely. Really.
But don’t blame me. I didn’t force you to eat it.
But you won’t get sick. I’m sure of it.
So, don’t be scared! Even if you don’t have a pressure canner, it’s possible to can meat. I’ve done it twice, well, actually, three times. But the first time I will admit that I was scared of the soup. The cats had some pretty deluxe chicken corn soup meals. But the second time was beef veggie soup and I had the courage to taste it. It was absolutely delicious. We loved it. It felt weird to eat that first jar but once we got over the initial jitters, our tummies settled down and we enjoyed the meal.
This year, I don’t know if I’ll can any soups but I did can beef chunks. It was fun! We learned that the guy we are buying beef from HAS to get his steer butchered at the end of August. That’s when my freezers are fullest. I wasn’t happy to hear that. But I went and gathered all of the roasts from last years beef purchase and thawed them out, cut them up , and canned them. It cleared a tiny bit of space but not enough. I’ll have to work on canning some more things, I believe. Maybe I will do some soups after all?
So here’s how to do it, if I haven’t yet scared you away.
1. Acquire your meat, fresh or frozen. If it’s frozen, only partially thaw it as it’s easier to cut half frozen meat then thawed meat.
2. Trim off large chunks of fat. It’s okay (and good) to leave a little bit on but big pieces are unnecessary.
3. Cut your meat into chunks. Any size will do but the smaller they are, the more you’ll get in each jar. If your meat is still partially frozen when you cut it, wait until it’s completely thawed to fill the jars as the frozen chunks don’t pack in very well.
4. Fill your clean jars almost full and then add 1 teaspoon of salt to each quart.
5. Place a little more meat on top of the salt to bring the level up to the bottom ring on the jar (or slightly above).
6. Boil your lids.
7. Wipe the top rim of each jar with a clean, damp cloth.
8. Place the lids on top. *Take note that I did not put any water in the jars. The meat will form it’s own juice as it cooks.
9. Screw on the rings nice and snug but not extremely tight.
10. Place the jars in the canner and fill with water to cover the jars by about an inch.
11. Bring the canner to a full rolling boil and boil (with the lid on!) for an hour and a half (or two if you are feeling unsure about safety).
13. Remove the jars from the canner to a newspaper lined cookie sheet and let cool completely.
14. Notice that the liquid level only comes about 2/3 up the meat. That’s okay.
15. Remove the rings from the cooled jars and check for good seals by gently lifting up on the lid with your fingertips (it’s not necessary to lift up the whole jar, just pull up a little to see if the lid comes off). You can also just tap the top of the lid and if it pings, it’s sealed. If it makes a dull thud, refrigerate that jar and eat it soon. Then wash the jars in hot, soapy water before storing in a cool, dark, dry place.
Recipe told to me by my grandma
salt (1 t per quart)
Stuff your beef cubes into jars. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart. Bring the level of the meat up to the bottom ring on the jar. DO NOT ADD WATER. Wipe the top rims of the jars and top with sterilized lids and then rings. Place the jars in the canner and add water to cover by an inch. Bring to a boil and then boil for 1 1/2 hours, or 2 hours if you are a little scared. When the timer beeps, remove the jars from the canner and let cool completely before removing the rings and checking for good seals. Wash the jars in hot soapy water and store in a cool, dark, dry place.
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