Canning meats is easy to do and is a great way to preserve the meat. More importantly to me is that it makes it convenient to have meat in a minute from the jar so I don't have to spend the time cooking it at mealtime. The basic procedure is to pack raw meat into jars leaving an inch of headspace. You don't have to add anything else. Just put the lids and rings on and process for 75 mnutes (pints) or 90 minutes (quarts). If you choose you may add spices & salt but I like to can mine without them so I can have a more versitile product when finished.
I can boneless skinless chicken breast with no additional liquid, salt or spice.
I then use it directly from the can to make great chicken salad. Just pour off the broth (maybe save it for rice the next meal) and flake it apart (it's really tender) and add the mayo, relish and whatever else you want in your chicken salad.
I also use the canned chicken to make pizza, quasidillias, salads and even stir fri where I just add it at the last minute (since it's already cooked). I sometimes just stir it in with a little BBQ sause and make a BBQ chicken sandwich.
What kind of a roaster do you use for your chicken and turkey? Are you talking about an electric roaster or the covered roasting pans you get that you throw into the oven?
Did I tell you I went to make your roast with the coffee and some boob had used up the last bit of coffee? I wound up browning it in the skillet, then threw it into the crockpot. I dumped a can of Campbell's Golden Mushroom Soup in and a packet of Lipton's Dried Onion Soup Mix. Cooked it for about eight hours, and it was the best roast I've ever had.
Still going to try that coffee trick, though. Sounds yummy!
I used to do a lot of catering, and have three of the big electric turkey roasters. I love them. One roaster will hold two canners of meat.
Pat is right. Every Thanksgiving I hit the local small supermarket, and get at least seven turkeys. Those will last for the year. :) I slow roast them to get that awesome broth, then can them up. Some jars mixed, some breast meat.
One of the things that I have discovered... if you love gravies. I take a pint of turkey, drain the broth for the potatoes. I put the meat and about 1 1/2 c. flour in the food processor, with or without sage, pepper and salt. I process until the texture is fine and all the meat is coated. I then pour that into some hot oil and fry like hamburger. Slow and easy and let it brown. Then make a milk gravy over it, like you would for sausage gravy. I serve it over mashed potatoes mixed with corn. Be careful. If you make this you might be addicted.
I'm hungry for some gravy now Sparky.
The information about canning meat in this discussion is invaluable and very helpfull. However, something has been bothering me for a while and this afternoon I thought about unsuscribing from email updates for the "canning meat" thread. Then I decided that was not very pro-active on my part to just unsuscribe without expressing why I lost interest.
Homegrown.org has a mission, and I registered here because it is in sync with my own values and I hoped interacting here, with people sharing the same values and paradigms about homemaking.
Before I go further, allow me to point to the "Philosophy" link (on the banner at the top of each page of the site). I take the liberty to quote part of it here, with emphasis mine:
Farm Aid founded HOMEGROWN.org with the mission to create a place where our love for food and the land evolves, deepens, and becomes something more fulfilling. A place where we can hear and appreciate the bigger stories that our food has to share – and connect to the source of our food: the land and the grower: The family farm. Where we see the connections between good soil, good farmers, good taste, and good times. Where the source of our food doesn’t feel like a stranger, but a fun and friendly neighbor.
I feel this discussion about canning meat shifted too far away from the chore mission of this community site, and sometimes, it really feels in total contradition with it. Because of that, I lost interest and was about to unsuscribe. I then thought about it and decided it is worth it to talk about it, because I feel it matters that Homegrown.org discussions stay not only on topic, but true to the philosophy of its founders and, hopefully, the majority of its members.
One important thing to remember in this trip toward a more sustainable living and radical homemaking is to keep an open mind and carefully avoid judging people's choices. Particularly when we know for a fact that it is next to impossible to live outside what Shannon Hayes calls "the extractive economy".
I wholeheartedly agree with a thrifty attitude and a "survival" quality in the activity of canning meat or any food for that matter. But... Am I alone thinking we should discuss it through the lens of sustainability and trying to avoid the pitfalls so very well described in "Food Inc."?
Shouldn't we be, while discussing the technicalities of meat canning, trying at the same time to shift away from the obviously and dangerously damaging industrial meats? Shouldn't we be sharing our ways to source grass-fed, local meats?
I feel it's important that we do say how we can even if we do it with industrial meat on sale at the big-store owned by absenty owners locate very far out our communities (owners who are able to organize 99 cents a pound sales since the bulk of their employees are exploited on so many levels). We need to admit doing it that way, but shouldn't we try, at the same time and at the very least, to open our mind to a more sustainable way of doing it, and try to find sustainable alternative of doing it?
I still have to use industrial meat because I have a hard time sourcing grass-fed meat. Let's talk about this, among the technicalities involved in canning meat. Because this is what this site is all about, isn't it?
I'm not offended Pat, far from it. I invite you to re-read my previous message. You will see that I'm far from being "all or nothing" when it comes to living up to the ideal sustainable life.
And no, it is not shamefull to buy at wallmart if you have tried as much as you can not to do it and you found yourself with no alternatives. Who am I to judge? Again, please re-read my message.
And yes, your input in this forum is, I repeat, invaluable and very helpfull. I can a lot, and meat too, and done it for years, and still learned things from you.
What I try to express is, when I read the discussion, I don't feel at Homegrown. I wanted to opt-out and then reconsidered. I guess it's up to all of us to try to discuss with the 4 tenets of sustainable living in mind. So I changed my mind and came here and wrote about what's bothering me first. But I will also try to ward off the illusion that all we care about here is canning meat the cheapest way possible, whatever the ecological and human cost. Because It's not all we care about.
Please, be patient with me. English is my second language and while it may seem I express myself well enough, it still takes me a tremendous amount of time and effort to accomplish this.