May 31, 2021

Oh, yeah. Meatballs.


Continuing on with my journey into the world of pressure canning, this morning I turned six pounds of ground chuck into five quarts of meatballs in beef broth. I'd hoped to get six jars, but I didn't allow for the way hamburger shrinks when cooked. Trust me, I know better. 

This is more of an experiment than the chicken breast. We like meatballs but they don't figure high in our meal rotation. If these have a good flavor and texture, that could change. I do like the idea of opening a jar and having the meatballs ready as compared to pulling them out of the freezer and have to not only heat them but thaw them first. Plus, they tend to dry out in the freezer no matter how well the vacuum seal holds. The jarred meatballs will not have that problem. 

To process the meatballs, I first formed them and put them in the oven for thirty minutes to render out the fat. Then they went into the jars while hot, and I filled the jars with hot beef bouillon broth. Remember - hot food goes into hot jars goes into hot water in your canner. Three hots. Meat of any kind in quart jars is then pressure canned for ninety minutes. You need to pressure can meat for it to be safe to consume. Do not water bath meat. 

The Lord of the Manor hasn't said too much about the meat canning. I think he's withholding judgment until I open a jar and use it in a recipe. I'm sure the next time we have spaghetti, there will be meatballs in the sauce. Beyond that, meatballs with mashed potatoes and gravy was a staple in my mother's menu rotation. I'm also thinking of meatball sandwiches and Swedish meatballs. The poor, misguided man has come to terms that just because I'm in the final countdown to retire, it doesn't mean I plan to make cooking to feed him my life. 

I do know that if the meatballs turn out the way I hope, I'll process more. Canned meat is shelf-stable meat. If the electricity goes out, we can eat meatballs or chicken. They might be cold, but the food will be pre-cooked and ready to eat. That's a win I can really get behind. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

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