Neither Carl or I grew up in a hunting family, fishing yes, hunting no. However, when we moved to this area we met many people who hunt and over the years we have become a family who eats wild game. I've had a love/hate relationship with venison since the first time I ate it at a friend's house. There have been times I had it and it was wonderful and at times hardly edible. There are a lot of variables such as the age of the deer and how it was butchered that will determine how "gamey" the meat is. We (as in I) do not like the "gamey" taste although I know many people who do.
So Sunday afternoon we "kinda" followed Cowgirl's Country Life tutorial. I used 2 tsp. of beef bullion (one that doesn't have MSG) and 1/8 tsp. of ground black pepper for each quart. I also added some onion and garlic.
In full disclosure I have to say that I was a bit worried about eating this. The finished product doesn't look so appealing (in the jar), so I've decided to spare you guys the pictures - you can go to Cowgirl's site if you are interested in canning your own venison. Her pictures are way better than mine are. However, when I opened the jar Phoebe said "That smells good!" and you know what? It did. Most canned meat smells like dog food to me but this didn't. I put it in a skillet, simmered it for 10 minutes and added some flour to make a gravy. The meat was very tender and tasty.
As I looked on the web I found quite a bit of information -some good and some not good. Contrary to what one site said, you do have to have a pressure canner to can meat. It is unsafe to try to can it in a water bath. Also, you cannot put the flour in the jar to make the gravy ahead of time - the flour can coat the jar and mess up the process.
I followed the directions that came with my canner and I used Tattler Reusable Lids. I was a little worried about using the lids in the pressure canner but they did great. I'm excited to use them this spring on all of our jars.
You can also use this method for other meats. We spent about 4 hours total working on this project and got 13 quarts of meat. About 1.5 hours were just waiting for the last batch to get finished canning. Also, the venison had to be de-boned which took longer than just cutting up meat. I will definitely be on the look out for other meats to can and will be saving these for when I need a quick 20 minute meal.
This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday and Barn Hop