Canning Beef Stew with Vegetables

My family is all about some easy, ready made meals.  This can be added to and used as a soup base.  You can add thickening to it or it can be eaten by just as is it canned.
Ingredients:
  • 10 pounds of stew meat
  • 2 pounds of carrots, chopped, sliced or sticks
    • 1 cup per quart jar – if you like carrots!  For my family this was too much.  My 1st batch had a strong carrot flavor.
  • 5 pounds of potatoes peeled and cubed
    • 1 cup per quart jar
  • 1 pound of chopped celery – OPTIONAL.
    • My boys don’t like celery, but if I were to add it – 1/2 cup per quart jar.
  • 1 pound of chopped onions
    • 1/4 cup per quart jar
  • 1 tsp canning salt per quart
If you’re filling the jars with broth and not boiling water.  Boil 6 quarts of water and make broth based on your beef base or bouillon cube directions.  Chopped all the vegetables and put in bowls of water until you are ready to fill the jars.
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Cut the meat up into 1″ cubes.   Once the broth comes to a boil start filling the jars in this order – meat, potatoes, celery, onions, carrots and salt.  We parboil our meat just for preference, it seems to make the jars a little bit cleaner.
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Add the hot broth or water leaving 1″ headspace.  Remove all air bubbles.  Wipe rims with a sterile cloth, place lids and rings.  Pressure can quarts for 90 mins at 10 lbs pressure.
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Yields 14 quarts.  Enjoy!!!

 

Disclaimer: Use this recipe at your own discretion, or adapt it to your own method.  I take NO responsibility for these recipes.

Canning Tea Concentrate

When I first mentioned canning Tea Concentrate to my husband he thought I was crazy.  I laughed, I may be crazy, but canning tea concentrate is not the reason….lol.  We do a lot of entertaining and it never fails, I either fix too much tea or not enough.  Having tea on demand – now we’re talking!

I make tea in a one gallon jug, so when I make concentrate it needs to make one gallon when I am done. I used the exact recipe that I always use, except instead of making it in a one gallon jug I would make it in a quart sized canning jar instead. Then all I need to do when I want tea is add the contents of the quart jar to my usual gallon jug and top it off with 3 quart jars of water to make a full gallon.

I made 2 different kinds:  Sweet, as in sweetened with sugar and our version of Unsweet which is actually the Lipton’s Southern Sweet Tea blend.

My Recipe: (Per quart jar)

  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 family-sized tea bag or 4 regular-sized bags
  • Hot water

NOTE:  If you’re using gallon size tea bags, use wide mouth jars to allow room to easily remove the bags at the end (you’ll thank me later).

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I measured out the sugar for a full gallon of tea and poured it into each sterile quart jar. My boys like their tea sweet, not as sweet as McD’s, but still sweet enough!  I know it looks like a lot of sugar, but that is 1 1/2 cup in each quart; which is what we use for a full gallon of tea.

We have our sugar poured into each jar. We have our tea bags ready and waiting.   We use 4 bags per gallon, so I have 4 bags tied together to place in each jar.  Next, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  The water needs to be hot in order to steep the tea properly. Once the water is nice and hot, it’s time to fill the jars 2/3 of the way full.  This will leave room to add the tea bags.

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Stir the water to dissolve the sugar and then add the tea bags to each jar. Once the bags are down inside the jars, I top off each jar with a little more hot water and give the bags a push with the spoon to sink them down a little farther inside the jar.  I would walk by and stir the jars every 5 minutes or so.  You can place a lid on top of each jar to allow the brew to steep.  I let mine sit for 20 minutes, we like a brisk tea.

After about 20 minutes I begin removing the bags from the jars. I give each bag a gentle squeeze to extract as much liquid as I can.  Be care to not tear any tea bags.

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Once all of the bags are removed, fill the jars up with hot water leaving 1″ head space.

Once filled, wiped the rim of each jar with a clean sterile cloth and adjust the hot lids and bands, getting it ready for processing.

Waterbath for 10 minutes.  Once the jars are placed in the pot, cover the jars with 2 inches of water.  Tea has a great deal of acid so there is no need to pressure can it.  Bring the water to a full boil with the lid on the pot and boil for 10 minutes.  Once it’s turned off and cooled, remove the jars and place on a towel on the counter.  Listen for the sweet “ping”!  We allow our jars to sit for 24 hours before moving.

Entertaining will never be the same…..

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Canning Year 2017 – WOW!

They say whatever you do on New Year’s Day you do all year long; well, we must have canned New Year’s Day 2017.  John and I canned something almost every week; oftentimes, two to three times a week .  There was never a “season” for canning with us, we canned ALL year long and ended up with 1,319 jars canned in 2017.

We’ve canned for years, but this is the first time that we’ve actually kept a list of what we’ve canned.  This is a year’s supply for our family of four plus we often feed our in-laws, family and friends.  Some things will carry over another year or two, some things will run out.  We don’t waste anything and the neighbors know it.  There’s several times throughout the year that things get left on my front porch because people know that we don’t waste, we’ll put it in a jar.  We’ve canned a lot of “old faithfuls” and we’ve experimented.  We enjoy canning.  Some folks enjoy reading, crafting and outdoor sports, we enjoy all of that too, but we LOVE canning.

Here’s what we canned in 2017:

  • 43 ~ Greens – Pints
  • 18 ~ Greens – Quarts
  • 10 ~ Strawberry Pie Filling
  • 11 ~ Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
  • 6  ~ Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Filling
  • 10 ~ French Onion Soup
  • 22 ~ Pintos
  • 17 ~ Navy Beans
  • 12 ~ Red Beans
  • 20 ~ Black Beans
  • 12 ~ Baked Beans
  • 4 ~ Chickpeas
  • 7 ~ Watermelon Rind Pickles
  • 51 ~ Pickled Beets
  • 32 ~ Squash
  • 14 ~ Zucchini
  • 21 ~ Blackberry Jam
  • 28 ~ Blackberry Pie Filling
  • 134 ~ Green Beans – 98 of those in 36 hrs!!
  • 10 ~ Garlic Dill Pickles
  • 13 ~ Garlic Dill Zucchini Pickles
  • 9 ~ Mrs. Patty’s Bread and Butter Pickles
  • 21 ~ Mrs. Wages Bread n Butter
  • 5 ~ Slaw
  • 42 ~ Cabbage
  • 19 ~ Pickled Okra
  • 15 ~ Peach Jam
  • 14 ~ Peaches – Pickled
  • 14 ~ Peaches – Cold Packed
  • 7 ~ Peaches – Hot Packed
  • 7 ~ Peach Cobbler Mix
  • 4 ~ Peach Syrup
  • 14 ~ Pepper Jelly
  • 38 ~ Cranberry Sauce
  • 8 ~ Cranberry Juice
  • 62 ~ Potatoes
  • 24 ~ Sweet Potatoes
  • 27 ~ Apple Sauce
  • 8 ~ Pear Sauce
  • 16 ~ Stew Meat – Deer
  • 6 ~ Stew Meat – Beef
  • 25 ~ Pork Loin
  • 7 ~ Chicken
  • 23 ~ Hotdog Style Chili
  • 36 ~ Creamer
  • 6 ~ Ground Beef
  • 10 ~ Swedish Meatballs
  • 17 ~ Meatloaf
  • 87 ~ Sausage
  • 36 ~ Vegetable Beef Soup
  • 24 ~ Spaghetti Sauce
  • 53 ~ Tomatoes
  • 21 ~ Tomato Jam
  • 15 ~ Tomato Basil Soup
  • 12 ~ Tomato Soup
  • 34 ~ Salsa
  • 16 ~ Oatmeal
  • 20 ~ Dried Apples
  • 8 ~ Spice Cake
  • 14 ~ Tea Concentrate

Plus we froze over 250 ears of corn!  Needless to say, it was a good harvest year on the family farm.  Approximately 90% of our produce comes from Marshall Farms.  We joke that I will work for food, but I literally do.  I work in exchange for produce, one of the benefits of being a Daddy’s girl who lives close to home.

Now, let’s get canning, 2,018 is going to be an AMAZING YEAR!  Seriously, I’m going to make some coffee creamer today – inventory is low.

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Canning Vegetable Beef Soup

My crowd LOVES a good pot of vegetable beef soup, so much so that we’ve started canning it in 1/2 gallon jars!  You can add stew meat or ground beef to it but a good soupy vegetable base is important.

Here’s what canning soup day looks like in our kitchen.  This day we canned nearly 10 gallons.  I like to mark things off my list.  By canning 16 half gallon jars and 12 pints (for our parents) it makes for a lot of work but we’ve got our stash of soup for the year!

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Remember when we can, we can big.  This recipe will easily fill 2-3 pressure canners.  The quantities below will give you eight 1/2 gallon jars and a Crockpot full for lunch.

We go to all efforts to keep from using store bought canned vegetables when making our soup.  We use lots of frozen vegetables, dried beans soaked overnight and vegetables that we canned.   Spices in this recipe are an estimate – due to the fact my husband cooks like most Grandma’s – shake and sample.  We grab our largest stock pot and we start by literally dumping our favorite veggies into a the pot, bringing it to a low boil.  The goal is to get this huge pot hot. If you don’t have these canned goods on hand, use roughly the same quantity of store bought fresh, canned or frozen.

At this point I add my jars to the oven and turn it on 200 degrees to get the jars to the desired temperature before filling them.

This will fill a 20 qt pot:

  • 3 quarts of canned tomatoes
  • 1 lg bag of frozen corn kernels
  • 2 small bags of frozen sliced carrots
  • 4 – 15 oz cans of diced potatoes, drained and rinsed (I’ve yet to find a frozen diced potato that I like)
  • 2 quarts of canned pintos
  • 2 quarts of canned green beans (or 1 bag frozen)
  • 2 lbs of green dried peas, soaked over night (or frozen)
  • 2 lbs of northern beans, soaked over night
  • 1 cabbage head diced
  • 2 onions diced
  • 32 oz Beef Broth

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Then start adding the spices listed below to taste….if I had to guess, we start out with 1 Tablespoon of each the salt and pepper, 2 Tablespoons of the Worcestershire and 2 Tablespoons of Texas Pete.  This is where you will have to trust your taste buds.

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  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Texas Pete

Once it is seasoned to your liking, lightly brown the meat in a cast iron pan before adding to the soup.  Or you can add the raw meat to jars; whichever you prefer.  We have found that it’s easier to distribute the meat equally if we add the meat to the jars rather than to the soup pot.

  • 10 lbs of stew meat lightly browned

Then begin filling hot sterile jars.

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Use a knife to get the air bubbles out of each jar.  Once that is done, wipe rims with a sterile cloth and place on the hot lids and rings. Pressure for 90 minutes on 10 lbs of pressure.  The pints we pressure for 75 minutes.

Enjoy!

Canning Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice is one of those things that I never seem to have on hand when I need it and one of those things that I always forget to add to the grocery list.

If you start looking for recipes to make cranberry juice, you’ll find 15 different amount for cranberries and 15 different amounts for sugar….

Here’s what I used:

  • 1 3/4 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • Boiling Water

I start a stock pot of boiling water and place my sterile jars in the oven on 200 degrees to get them hot.

Fill hot jars with 1 & 3/4 cup of cranberries, then 1/2 cup of white sugar.

Add boiling hot water to fill up to 1/2″ headspace and stir well.

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Clean rims of jar with sterile cloth and add hot lids and ring.  Place in water bath and process for 25 minutes at full rolling boil.

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Remove jars and leave untouched for 12-24 hours until they are completely cooled. Check the lids to make sure they are sealed.  At this point, I turn my jars upside down and gently shake them to get the color to change throughout the entire jar.

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Remove rings and clean jars with warm soapy water to remove any stickiness and store in a cool, dark place.  Wait 4-6 weeks for the cranberries to really infuse the water before opening.

***Grapes can be processed the same way.

Angel’s Stuffing – “Cross Creek Style”

Ok, so the”Cross Creek Style” is a inside joke.  If you know our gang and cook Thanksgiving dinner with our Sunday School class, you know that everyone likes to pick on Angel about Cross Creek. …we like to joke that this stuffing is “Cross Creek style” or Country Club style compared to your typical StoveTop stuffing.   Each year our Sunday School Class prepares a meal for our seniors, shut-ins and the less fortunate in our community.  What started out as feeding 100, followed by some good fellowship over dinner has grown over the years to feeding 300 plus.  As the numbers grow, so does the work load.  How do you get the extra hands lined up to help feed the multitude?  Announce that Angel is making her famous Thanksgiving stuffing and the volunteers come out of the woodwork!  Yes – it’s truly that good!  Just ask my sister who drives nearly 2 hours to join in the fun.

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  • Bread – 1 loaf cut into 1 inch square and dried out (day before)
  • Chicken Stock – 16 oz – OR until the stuffing is moist – but not soupy
  • Celery – 3 stalks
  • Onion – 1 diced
  • Granny Smith Apple – 1 chopped
  • Butter -2 Tablespoons
  • Sausage – 1 lb cooked and crumbled
  • Thyme – 2 sprigs fresh or dried to taste
  • Rosemary – 2 sprigs fresh or dried to taste
  • Sage – 2 sprigs fresh or dried to taste
  • Dried Cranberries – Optional

If time permits the night before:

  1. Cut the bread into 1 inch square and place in an airtight container to dry out.
  2. Brown the sausage, drain and set aside.  Once cooled, place in an airtight container and refrigerate.
  3. Dice an onion and place in an airtight container and refrigerate.
  4. Dice 3 stalks of celery and place in an airtight container and refrigerate.

If the bread still seems fresh, put it on a sheet pan in the oven for just a few minutes on broil to dry it out a little more.  Dice a Granny Smith apple and saute in 2 Tablespoons of butter with the chopped onions and celery until tender.

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Chop the fresh herbs and mix 1/2 of the herbs with 1/2 of the bread crumbs and sausage in a 9 x 13 pan or larger.  Add 1/2 of the onions, celery and apple to the bread, herb and sausage mixture.   Add a few dried cranberries if desired.

Once the stuffing mixture is all put together, soak with chicken broth.  We used 16 oz of broth to soak the bread mixture and it worked out great.  If you like a crispy stuffing, I recommend splitting this up into two pans.  As this recipe is written, it makes a thick, delicious stuffing.   Bake on 350 degrees until golden brown.  Enjoy!!!

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Apple Cranberry Crisp

This is one of those mouth-watering recipes that can be used as a side dish at Thanksgiving, Christmas or as a dessert for any holiday occasion.

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  • 3 cups chopped unpeeled apples
  • 2 cups whole raw cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water

Mix together the apples, cranberries and sugar in a casserole dish.  Top with 1/2 cup water.

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Topping:

  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup of oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

Mix together the topping and sprinkle it over the cranberry, apple mixture.

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Bake for 1 hour on 350 degrees.  This is delicious as a side or as a dessert, warmed and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!!!

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