First off, kudos for following the blog. We realize that we've been a bit slow in our posting, but we haven't forgotten about you! By now you've probably read through the book and come up with some questions. Today we bring you a special Q&A with our friend Wendy. Wendy comes from West Hills, CA (we're thrilled with the growing CA following!)
Wendy: Do you brown your meat or pack it raw?
Bag Lady: It depends on the meat I am canning. I always brown my hamburger, sausage links, and patties before canning.
Wendy: Do you add water?
Bag Lady: You only add water if the meat has been cooked prior to bottling. When I have done this I used broth and it is yummy! But I usually raw pack most things and sprinkle with seasons if I am not using it for multiple dishes. i.e. Sunday roast always gets seasoned before I place it in the jar.
Wendy:I canned hamburger, but the recipe said to add water to the top, then put the lid on. I've used it, but it's always a little scary when I look at it.
Bag Lady: I never add water to my hamburger. Make sure you do NOT cook it thoroughly. Only cook it until the outside turns that gray color then spoon into prepared jars. You are only cooking it a little so that it doesn't come out the texture of canned dog food. If you cook it completely it will be dry and have an odd taste after processing.
Wendy: Do you think stew meat would work in canning?
Bag Lady: Yes. I can steak, stew meat and roasts as well as other meats and fish.
Wendy: When you use [bottled meat] in a recipe, is it already cooked from the pressure canning?
Bag Lady: Yes! You can eat it cold from the jar and be fine. However, make sure your bottles are properly sealed. To insure this I never leave my rings on after the initial 24 hours. I do this so that any gasses can easily pop the lid off if it is improperly sealed. If the bottle IS properly sealed, it will make that vacuum sound when I take the lid off. If there is no vacuum sound, I know the bottle was not sealed and the contents are bad.
There you have it folks! Don't waste another minute, canning your own meat "can" be easy and fun! If you hit any snags, shoot us a message.