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Posted: 2/2/2011 6:52:35 AM EST
I was canning some venison yesterday and I had a thought. I love canned meat. It keeps well, it tastes delicious, and it's easy to prepare when it's time to eat it: just heat and eat. But a pint jar of venison (and onions and mushrooms) leaves something to be desired for a whole meal. Usually rice, noodles, potatoes or the like.

My idea is to can a complete meal together. Think Chunky Soup but less soup and more stew/solid food. Has anyone done this? I'm wondering about the differences in the foods and canning procedures if they were being canned separately.

The benefit then is quick, easy, heat and eat meals that don't require refrigeration.

Maybe something like this:

Chunked meat
Noodles
Diced vegetables (carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, green beans, maybe lentils or something)
A little bit of starch or cream to make a sauce
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 7:28:56 AM EST
The USDA will tell you you cannot safely can pasta.

I have heard people talk about it that have tried it. It doesn't hold up to the pressure canning process very well.


I have posted my chicken soup process in other threads, but I will post it here as well
Originally Posted By one sexy fellow:
40 lbs of chicken thighs, 2 bags of carrots, 2 bags of celery, 1 10lb bag of onions, 5 heads of garlic, bay leaves, salt, pepper corns, fresh rosemary, fresh time, and 2 days of work =

13 quarts of chicken soup
13 pints of chicken meat
10 quarts chicken broth
8 pints of chicken broth

not bad for about $30 worth of materials!


Now the details....

even in my 31 qt all American pressure caner, I can only fit 20lbs of thighs at a time. I did 2 batches of 20 lbs each to prep but I took 1 package of carrots, 1 package of celery, 5 lbs of onions, 1 packet of fresh rosemary, 1 packet of fresh thyme, pepper corns. I put all of the herbs and seasonings in a cotton bag and tossed in. the celery and carrots get tosse3d in whole. Onions get halved. Garlic I cut entire heads in halve and tossed in. Add water until all is covered.

I pressure cook at 15lbs for 5 mins after pressure is reached then cool. dump whole mess through pasta maker pot into 5 galloln food safe bucket, repeat process for other 20lbs chicken.

Remove all of the "spent" vegetables and either eat them as a side dish, or feed them to the chickens or the dogs. Believe it or not after being stewed with all of that chicken the dogs will make short work of all of those veggies!

Remove chicken from bones and skin (reserve bones and skin). Chop second bag of carrots and celery, cut other 5 lbs of onions, break up 3 heads of garlic then cut cloves into large chunks. add handfuls of chicken to 14 quart jars, then add equal amounts of everything else, then fill with broth, and process.

fill jars with leftover meat, fill with water (there is enough residual fat to turn said water into broth during processing). process...

fill as many jars as you can with remainder of broth, process....

The chicken soup comes out SO rich and flavorful you can add about a quart of water to a quart of soup and it comes out about right in flavor. I also like to buy a big bag of the Amish style noodles that walmart sells, cook them according to the instructions until they are almost done then dump out most of the water reserving +/- one quart of water, then dump a quart of the chicken soup in and let it all heat back up. this makes a TON of hot homemade chicken soup. It takes the G/F and I a couple of days to finish it all!

I then put the skin and bones removed from chicken back in the pressure caner with about 2" of water in the bottom and pressure cook at 15lb for about 5 minutes after the caner has reached temperature. I remove the mess from the caner and use a potato masher to mash the now soft bones into a mash and feed to the dogs over their food for a few days.

Absolutely EVERYTHING gets used.

Link Posted: 2/2/2011 7:39:20 AM EST
Thanks for that!

If noodles are a no go, how about rice or potatoes?
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 7:58:05 AM EST
potato's are ok, but rice is not safe either.

boiling up noodles is not a big deal though, if you make your soup rich then you can boil up your noodles and leave some extra boiling water in the pot. When you pour your soup in the water dilutes the soup as well as heating everything up. Basically in the time it takes to boil noodles, you can have fresh hot homemade soup!


I have also canned split pea and ham soup with sliced carrot and diced potatoes.

Another one of my favorites to can is beans.

1. soak beans in water overnight (this is a must as the beans have to have water inside them to carry the heat from canning all the way through to kill all of the bacteria spores that create the botulism toxin)
2. boil a whole country ham in a huge pot (completely covered with water) until the meat just pulls away from the bone
3. remove the ham and once cool enough cut off all of the nice pieces of meat for slicing and such, set aside all of the scrubby chunks and toss the bone back in the water.
4. boil the bone until all of the leftover bits of meat come off
5. fill your jars about 2/3 full of soaked beans
6. toss +/- 1/4 onion in each jar
7. add 1 clove of garlic to each jar roughly chopped
8. 1 small bay leaf per jar (break them in half if they are big leaves)
9. 1 teaspoon of salt per jar
10. a generous amount of bits of scrubby pieces of ham
11. fill each jar to about 1/2" from top with ham water
12. poke around in each jar with a chopstick to remove air pockets
13. process for 90 mins at 10psi

Meal in a jar!

Note: I am not guaranteeing this to be a safe recipe, I have done it many times and it has yet to kill me.
I know it is not a real "manly" site but mrssurvival.com is a wealth of info for canning.
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 8:35:58 AM EST
Thanks again
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 10:36:35 AM EST
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 10:46:09 AM EST
Looks good!

That is a good point, you CANNOT use any thickening agents (flour, corn starch, etc) when canning. Clear jel is the only exception. Supposedly the thickener can act as an insulator to particles inside the jar and keep them from hitting the neccisary temps to kill off all of the bacteria. Same reason you cannot add fat to dishes you can.
Link Posted: 3/8/2011 10:48:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/8/2011 10:49:28 AM EST by Quarterbore]
I want to make up some stew and can it. This is a tag

Link Posted: 3/13/2011 6:56:13 PM EST
Actually, noodles are perfectly safe to can. The reason that the USDA does not recommend canning them is that they tend to fall apart in the high heat and pressure necessary for pressure canning. It's a matter of aesthetics, not safety. Rice, barley, etc. - same thing, They fall apart and look like something barfed in your jar. Offhand, the only starchy things I can think of that do reasonably well with canning are corn and potatoes.

Thickening agents also fall apart during canning. You can add all the cornstarch or flour you want, but it breaks down and does not thicken. The easy way to get around this is to just make your recipe without it, then add the thickening agent when you open the jar.

Link Posted: 3/13/2011 8:27:50 PM EST
Originally Posted By beansandbullets:
Actually, noodles are perfectly safe to can. The reason that the USDA does not recommend canning them is that they tend to fall apart in the high heat and pressure necessary for pressure canning. It's a matter of aesthetics, not safety. Rice, barley, etc. - same thing, They fall apart and look like something barfed in your jar.


Interesting...

How do the commercial canners do it? Pasta, rice and barley are all commonplace in store-bought canned goods.

Link Posted: 3/15/2011 7:08:37 PM EST
Honestly, I don't know. They have a lot of very expensive equipment, that's the best answer I can give you.

I have canned small amounts of pasta, rice, and various grains in soups. Go ahead if you want to. There is no safety issue, it just looks bad.and the texture is going to be very mushy. Personally, I just can the soup without the noodles and then add them when I open the jar.

Commercial canneries can do a lot of stuff we can't do at home. Have you ever seen the minced garlic in olive oil that they carry in the grocery stores? Done at home, that is like posting a big sign on your front door that says "Botulism welcome here!" But apparently they have some way of making it safe on a commerical scale. Can't say I have a clue how they do it, though
Link Posted: 3/16/2011 7:24:18 AM EST
They probably irradiate it.
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