Sunday, December 13, 2015

Canned Venison

My husband recently had another very successful hunting trip. Now what do you do with all that meat? It's easy to drop it off to be processed, but he saves money and does it himself! Included is his recipe for Canned Venison in a pressure canner and tips for freezing. This recipe can also be used for beef, veal, lamb, and pork.

My husband Charlie has adapted this recipe from a recipe found in a cookbook that was a wedding gift to us. Charlie has used it many times, and it always turns out great! I don't normally like the "wild taste" of venison, but this is absolutely delicious. It really tastes like a beef roast. It's great in soups or barbecues, or simply heated right out of the jar.

Bon appetit!!

Meat Preparation: Remove skin, bones, and gristle from the meat. Cut into large, manageable pieces, and chill until ready to can or freeze.

Canned Venison

Jar Preparation: Wash canning jars, rings, and lids using manufacturer's directions.

Note: Charlie does not add anything extra to the meat, but seasonings could be added as the meat is placed in the jars.

1. Cut meat into small pieces that will fit easily into the jars. 

2. Soak venison in salt water (about 1/4 cup salt to 1 quart water) a minimum of 2 hours, or overnight (preferred). Drain, and rinse meat thoroughly. Remove as much water as possible.

3. Cold pack: Pack raw meat loosely in jars, leaving 1 inch head-space. Add no liquid. 

4. Set open jars in deep canner with warm water 2 inches below rim of jars; cover with canner lid. 

5. Simmer (below a boil) for 75 minutes. 
Note: Watch carefully to avoid boiling!

5. Remove jars from canner. Add lids and rings; tighten by hand. 

6. Remove most of the water from the canner. Return the jars to the canner. Continue to adjust the amount of water until the water level reaches a height of 2 to 2-1/2 inches from the bottoms of the jars.

7. Process in the pressure canner. (See chart below).

Processing Time in Pressure Canner: 

Size of Jars
Pressure in lbs.
10 lbs.
75 minutes
10 lbs.
90 minutes

8. Turn the heat off under the pressure canner and let the pressure drop to "0" before lifting the pressure release valve. 
Note: Never lift the valve unless pressure is at "0"!

9. Carefully remove the jars and set on a dry kitchen towel until cool. Wipe off the jars, date the lids, and store.

Freezing Tips:

He grinds most of the meat into burger. His Megaforce 3000 Series Air Induction - Air Cooled Grinder does the job nicely! He double-grinds the meat to get a better, more consistent end product.  Some people add pork, usually bacon, or beef products with the grind, but Charlie prefers to keep it 100% venison. 

To avoid premature freezer burn, he first packs the meat in quart freezer bags and seals, squeezing out as much air as possible. He then seals the bags in a vacuum bag using the Ziploc Vacuum Sealer System (a Christmas gift from me). We then use a Sharpie Marker to label the contents and date the bags before freezing.

Note: If possible, lay the meat in a single layer on a freezer shelf until frozen.

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