Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wooden Spoon #4: Bottled meat, beans for butter

Bottling meat takes a little time but you more than make up for it in the time saved cooking meat every meal.

Bottle in the winter. My favorite time to bottle meat is after Thanksgiving and when I don't mind heating up my house with the warmth of the stove.

Buy meat any time on sale and freeze it until you can bottle it.

If my freezer goes out do I have enough bottles on hand to bottle the meat?

When power goes out your freezer will act like a cooler and will keep foods frozen for up to a week if the door is kept closed. You would be able to take batches of meat out of the freezer and bottle it.

Equipment: Pressure cooker, plain salt, (if power goes out, do you have propane burner to use and spare propane?)

Raw Pack: You fill your bottles with raw chunks of meat and add salt. No Water. Advantage: faster than par cooked.

Par-cooked: You precook your meat partially or fully. Fill the jars with meat chunks then fill the remaining area with water and salt. Advantage: you can fit more meat in every bottle and you have a nicer looking broth.

Both methods pressure cook for the same amount of time.

Go to

for the Complete guide to home canning. This is a great resource that you can print off of the Internet. There is a great section on canning meat.

What kinds of meat can I bottle?

Chicken, rabbit, turkey, ham, beef, ground meat, clams, fish, oysters, smoked fish, tuna.

How do I use it?

Use it the same way you would if you cooked the meat for any meal!

Sandwich meat, soup, enchiladas, tacos, casserole, omelets, etc.

Beans for Butter

Use cooked beans (either canned or dry beans that you've cooked). Puree them in a blender, or mash with a fork. Liquid may be added to adjust the consistency. Mash until the cooked beans reach the consistency of shortening. Use 1 cup mashed beans for 1 cup margarine, butter, or oil.

Using beans will make you cookies more cake-like. They won't be very moist right out of the oven, but will be soft – don't over bake! Bake until the outside edges have just turned brown the cookies will be moister as the days go by and seem to taste better the next day.

If you make a big batch freeze most of them or they will get too moist in the cookie jar. They also taste great right out of the freezer! The beans help them so they don't get too hard.

If you like crisp cookies- don't use beans in a recipe because they will always be soft!

1 cup dry beans = 2 ½ – 3 cups cooked

1 can beans = 1 2/3 cups

Beans can be frozen either cooked whole or pureed. Both ways work equally well. This is a great way to always have cooked beans on hand.

The other way is to bottle them. Soak overnight and fill quarts up to where the jar begins to narrow add 1 tsp plain salt and pressure cook 90 min. at 13-15 lbs pressure. My favorite way!