Saturday, July 14, 2012
Canning Pork 7-8-12
Last weekend I did another canning experiment, canning 3 lbs of pork shoulder to be used later for sausage making. Pork is something I haven’t tried yet and just want to see if there will be a noticeable taste and texture difference using home canned pork vs frozen storage.
I want to test the canned meat for taste when making sausage so I’m using small ½ pint jars to make small batches of sausage from. This will allow spice adjustments using small amounts of meat until I get the familiar taste I’m looking for. Another reason is I cook for just two people, so a ½ pint jar of meat provides just the right amount for two meals with no waste. This is important if you lack refrigeration. Either you eat all of it at one meal sitting or it will spoil.
The finished yield per ½ pint jar is 7 ounces of meat, almost a ½ pound! You may think that’s not enough for one person! However it will make two almost ¼ lb sausage burgers. That’s almost a ¼ pound hamburger and we all would agree we eat too much food today and eating wisely in proper amounts is the only way to maintain a suitable weight or get to a suitable weight. If you made a sausage burger then add veggies and potatoes you have a filling meal.
Processing Method; Raw Pack
The Ball Blue Book and The All-American Canner book says to cut the meat into strips the length less head space of the jar size being used, However, Presto and a number of University’s say you can cut it into chunks. The chunk style works well for me because I will end up cutting it into pieces to fit into the meat grinder when it’s sausage making time.
Sterilize the jars.
Simmer the lids.
Raw pack the meat chunks 1 inch from the top while gently pushing out air pockets between the chunks.
Add ¼ teaspoon of canning salt to each ½ pint jar.
Add no liquids to the raw pack jars.
Process 75 minutes @ 10psi (I live at sea level, also ½ pints use the same processing time as pints)
Add 2 inches of water in the canner for processing.
How long did it take to can this small amount?
The time needed from cutting up the meat, sterilizing, processing, cleaning up and putting everything away was 3 hours. This is certainly no record but for those who have never canned it will give you an idea of the time involved for the canning process.
The bulk pork before cutting up.
Pork cut up into chunks.
Jars in the canner.
The pressures on!
Hot out of the canner.
Still bubbling inside! All to do now is let the jars cool, remove the rings and into the pantry.
A very pleasant surprise a week after canning when I tasted the pork!
The 75 minute canning process does not cook the meat all the way through; it was still pinkish inside the chunks. So I fried up a jar of pork in just a couple tablespoons of oil and a bit of salt. To my surprise it was very tender and fell apart with the touch of a fork. In other words the texture was Pulled Pork not tough or chewy at all!!! All you’d need to do is add some BBQ Sauce and a bun and you’d have a great pulled pork sandwich, yuuummmy!
The taste was exactly the same as when I’d use a slow cooking crock pot. Highly recommend you give canning cheap pork cuts a try. Next week I will grind it up and make sausage from to see how that turns out. I expect it to be as good as or better than using raw meat for the sausage making because of the slow cooking canning provides.