Tuesday, August 25, 2009
In a Stew
I wanted to show you something I accomplished yesterday. It was a sort of experiment with the canning department. I canned 14 qts. of beef stew, in gravy. In the past I've done this, with making gravy with regular cornstarch. Some say not to can in the gravy; that you should make the gravy after it's canned, when you go to heat it up. That's not going to work with my family, they don't make gravy. And besides, then there are the extra dishes to do b/c you had to mix up the gravy. It just wouldn't take as good in my opinion. So, (I'm sure this is boring to someone who has no interest in canning), I experimented yesterday with thickening my stew with clear jel. I have to say, I'm impressed so far. Instead of the congealed cloudy look I've gotten before, this is a nice thick gravy, nice and shiny. 2 jars didn't seal and we had them for lunch and mmmmm, it was good!
All I did was bake 3 roasts in the oven. Then peeled a 10 pound bag of potatoes, 2 pound bag of carrots, most of 2 onions. I took the roasts and cut them into chunks, cut chunks of potatoes (on the large bite size b/c I didn't want them to disintegrate in the pressure canning), and slices of carrots. Chopped up onions, oh, and fresh garlic too. I mixed the meat and veggies all together in a huge bowl. Then I took the roast drippings, added beef base, salt, pepper, and probably at least a gallon of water. Thickened it with the clear jel (it's modified corn starch) mixed with water. Packed the meat & veggie mixture into the jar (didn't precook the veggies), poured the gravy over the top with 1 inch of headspace, and put the lids on the jars. I canned it for 130 minutes at 10 pounds pressure, and it was done.
I just got the jars cleaned up, labeled, and put up on the shelf. It is nice to have stuff like this in the fall and winter and it's a quick meal when you don't feel like cooking.
I'm still on a roll, trying to get fallish type work done. I think we'll have all our firewood in this week, yeah!!! Well, on to more of my regular kind of day, and I hope yours is a nice one!