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Canning moose, caribou

Posted: Friday, August 04, 2006

University of Alaska Cooperative Extension office

· Preparing the meat

Cut meat into 1 inch cubes. Trim off fat and gristle. Brown meat cubes in a small amount of fat. Add water to the meat while cooking.

· Preparing the jars

Pack the hot meat into clean hot jars. Pour the hot liquid (in which the meat was cooked) over the meat, leaving1 inch headspace in the jars. If there is not enough liquid, add boiling water.

Add salt, if desired: 1/2 teaspoon to pint jars; 1 teaspoons to quart jars. Wipe off the top of the jars. Then put on the canning lid and band.

· Preparing the canner:

Put 2 to 3 inches of water in the bottom of the pressure canner. Heat until the water is the same temperature as the jars so the jars will not break.

· Processing the jars

Put the jars on a rack in the bottom of the canner. Put the canner lid on and fasten securely. Let the steam come through the vent hole or open petcock for at least 10 minutes. Close the vent or petcock. After the pressure reaches 11 pounds on a dial gauge canner or the 10 pound weight begins to jiggle or rock on a weighted gauge canner, start timing.

Regulate heat to maintain a steady pressure.

If you have a weighted gauge canner, check canner manual to determine the amount of jiggling or rocking necessary for 10 pounds pressure.

Pints should be processed for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure in a weighted gauge canner or 11 pounds of pressure in a dial gauge canner (Note: If the game meat is canned at an altitude greater than 1,000 feet above sea level, these times/pressures may be insufficient. In this case weighted gauge canners should be processed at 15 pounds of pressure.

Consult your local extension agent for recommended times and pressures for dial gauge canners.

Canning moose and caribou meat has some real advantages; the tough cuts of meat are tenderized by the canning process. Meals can be ready in minutes using canned meat and serving it over rice, adding barbecue sauce and serving it on a bun, or using it to make a quick stew by adding canned vegetables.

You must use a pressure canner to can meat.

After the processing time is up, turn off the heat and let the pressure go down to zero.

Then remove the weight from the vent port or open the petcock. Wait 2 minutes, and remove the pressure canner lid, tilting the far side of the lid up so that the steam does not go in your face.

· Testing the seal

Take the jars out of the canner using tongs or a jar lifter. Place on a towel or wood surface. Cool the jars at room temperature.

As the jars cool, they will seal. Test the seal after the jars have cooled for 12 hours. Test the seal by tapping the jar lids with a metal spoon. A ringing metal sound is caused by a vacuum inside the jar. The center of the lid should be pulled down. It should not move when pressed with a finger.

If a jar is not sealed, refrigerate and use the meat within one week. Or, you may freeze for future use if you adjust headspace to 1 1/2 inches. Meat may also be reprocessed using a new lid. First, check the jar sealing surface for tiny nicks. If a

nick is found, use a new jar as well as a new lid.

Recipes

Mom’s Day Off

· 3/4 pound macaroni

· 1 can cream soup

· 1 cup milk

· 1 pint jar (2 cups) canned meat

· 1/4 grated cheese

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain. Mix macaroni with cream soup and milk in a casserole. Stir in cutup canned meat and grated cheese. Bake at 350F until bubbly. This takes about 15 minutes. Serves 6.

Meat Stew

· 6 cups hot cooked vegetables

· 1/4 cup flour

· 1 cup cold water or milk

· 1 pint jar (2 cups) canned meat

· dash salt

· dash pepper

Place vegetables and meat in a large pot with enough water, meat juice or vegetable juice to cover. Boil at least 10 minutes. Thicken with flour mixed with cold water or milk. Add leftover gravy if available. Season to taste. Serves 6.



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