This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest by Central Florida Denise
I’ve not met many canners who have canned pork, chicken and beef, however, this is the food I enjoy most to can. Having fresh canned meat to add to numerous dinner choices such as soup, stews, chicken salad, rice dishes, potato dishes, pasta etc. will make it much easier to please your family if you can add some protein to the mix.
The reason I’m writing is because some of what I’ve read on canning sites tend to make the meat sound quite unappealing in it’s texture and appearance and I can say from experience that couldn’t be further from the truth if you follow my method for canning meat. Lets start with the cut of meat. For the pork I use center cut boneless, thick cut approximately 1″ to 1 1/4″ thick. For chicken I buy skinless, boneless white meat breasts at the big warehouse stores buying the “store brand”. For the beef, which is a bit expensive right now, I buy Delmonico, New York strip or Ribeye. It may be best to buy the beef when it is on sale. I buy all my pork when it is “buy one get one free” packages. The chicken has been a good deal at $1.97 per pound for at least the last 6 to 9 months.
The length of time I cook my meat is quite different from the canning books, but the end result is meat that will be fork tender and have an appealing appearance. First is the pork, trim all excess fat from around the edges and sprinkle liberally with Montreal Steak Seasoning on the front and back and place in large aluminum rectangular cake pan with lid. This should hold approximately 8 to 9 pieces of boneless pork loin, (they will look like small filets). You can cook them very close together. Add chicken broth or chicken stock to pan and cover loins at least 3/4 of the way, add lid.
Bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours, removing the lid for the last 20 to 30 minutes to brown. You should still have a good amount of chicken broth in the pan that will be added to your pint jars for the liquid that is needed in the canning process. If your broth is low, you can add some at this point so it will mingle with the broth that has been cooking with the pork absorbing the flavors. After you remove pan from oven, cut loins in half and fill pint jars per your canners instructions and add hot broth to within 1″ of top of pint jars. I use pint jars because it is just the right amount of meat for my husband and myself for one meal. You must can the pints at 75 minutes and the quarts at 90 minutes, unless you have altitude requirements.
Next is the chicken. I can two different types of chicken. The first is a more plain chicken, trim all excess fat from chicken breast and season with salt, pepper, parsley (whatever your family likes in seasoning) on both front and back. Place chicken in large aluminum rectangular cake pan with lid and follow instructions for pork, adding chicken broth or stock and cooking for 2 hours.
Also remove lid the last 20 to 30 minutes to brown. You do not need to flip these while they are cooking. The chicken we use most often is Chipotle chicken. I use Grill Mates Chipotle Seasoning and follow instructions on the back for amount of chicken you are cooking. You can reduce the amount of oil you mix with this to make the processing less fatty. Again, after you place all the chicken in the pan, add chicken broth to 3/4 of the way and add lid. Cook for 2 hours and remove from oven. Cut to desired chunks and fill jars, adding broth to within 1″ of top. Process pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes, unless you have altitude requirements.
Last but not least is the steak. I use Montreal Steak Seasoning front and back, place in pan, add beef broth same as above and cook for 2 hours, removing lid the last 20 to 30 minutes to brown. Cut into pieces or strips and pack per your canners instructions, adding the beef broth to within 1″ of top. The steak is excellent in beef stew, chili etc. I have also found that using diluted vinegar to wipe the rims gives me a better chance of no failures with my jars. The vinegar cuts through any fatty residue that may have been left on the rims. Give it a try, the results are tender and appealing.
This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:
First Prize) Winner will receive a Stealth Body Armor Level II vest courtesy of SafeGuard ARMOR™ LLC and a $150 gift certificate for Wolf Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner.com A total prize value of over $600.
Third Prize) Winner will receive copies of both of my books “31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness” and “Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat: One Man’s Solution” and a Katadyn Siphon Water Filter courtesy of Mayflower Trading Company. A total prize value of $107.
Contest ends on June 5 2012.