This spring my husband went and bought himself a flat screen TV and so I only thought it fair that I should get to buy a pressure canner. I finally used my giant kitchen toy to can some roast beef. Now the first time I ever canned meat (with a borrowed pressure canner) I was a little scared. But with a little study I discovered that as long as you follow the procedure correctly it is simple and safe. Not only that, it tastes better and costs less than the store bought canned meat. It is however a lengthy process and requires a little time to be set aside - a good 2 hours. But I say anytime you can cook several dinners at once it is worth the time.
Roast beef went on sale for $1.68 a pound and that meant I was going to buy a lot. I tried this recipe two ways. I went through the laborious process of trimming and chopping one package by myself. I had the butcher chunk the other package which was much easier but resulted in a lot of fat. I would recommend doing the chunking and trimming yourself. You can see in the above picture that there is a good bit of fat in this jar. I use raw pack because it is less mess and fewer steps. The meat cooks in the jar in the pressure canner.
The process: Raw Pack
Sanitize canning jars by boiling upside down in hot water for at least 10 minutes or use the sanitize setting on your dishwasher and keep warm until ready to use. Prepare lids and rings according to manufacturers directions.
Prepare meat by trimming fat and cutting into large chunks.
Add 1/2 tsp canning salt per pint of meat, 1 tsp per quart. Do not use regular salt or you will have a cloudy consistency in your finished product. Canning salt can be found in the preserving or canning section of the grocery store.
Stuff meat into sanitized jars to within 1 inch of the rim.
DO NOT ADD WATER!
Top jars with lids and rings and place on rack in pressure canner. Do not can meat in a steamer. Pressure canning meat is the only safe way to can your meat.
Pretty easy. The lengthy part is next as you babysit the pressure canner. Please read your pressure canner instructions carefully they should indicate the pressure needed for your elevation.
I process my meat at 15 lbs but I am over 6,000 feet above sea level. My manufacturing instructions indicate the proper pressure for elevations. The proper pressure is vital. If you can not determine the proper pressure for your elevation please contact your local extension service.
Make sure you install your lid and follow your directions carefully as you close your pressure canner and determine the time to begin timing. Pints must be processed for 75 minutes and quarts for 95 minutes. Make sure you keep an eye on your pressure gauge. It will fluctuate and the heat on your stove will need to be occasionally adjusted to ensure it remains at the proper pressure.
Once your buzzer goes off turn off heat and allow pressure canner to cool completely before removing lid. Your instructions will tell you how to tell if your canner is cooled completely. Estimate at least 1/2 hour to 1 hour for cool down. Once your pressure canner is opened carefully remove your cans and place on a clean towel on counter. Do not place directly onto a cold surface or the cans may break.
Lids will pop and have an indentation in the center if they are properly sealed. If they have not sealed within a few hours you will need to reprocess your cans.