So I went grocery shopping early Saturday morning because they had a meat sale. Hamburger for $1.49 a pound. I haven't seen it that low in many months. So I was there at 7:30 am just 30 minutes after opening and already there was a crowd at the meat counter. I got my veggies and some other stuff and 15 pounds of hamburger and also my free gallon of milk -their loss leader this week.
I only have the freezer on the top part of my fridge and it is pretty full right now. Also we live where we can get hurricanes and we lose power for about a week when that happens so we lose what's in the fridge and freezer. I am canning meats so we don't lose it and also because it makes for fast and easy meals on worknights.
Today I used 5 pounds of hamburger and made meatballs. Mixed up the meat with an onion, some celery, 2 bread heels and some oatmeal that I whizzed in the food processor, added basil, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper & garlic powder. Mushed it all up with my hands, added some worcestershire sauce and mushed some more. Rolled it into balls and baked at 375 degrees F for about 16 minutes.
In case you can't tell, they are sitting on a wire rack so the grease will fall below. My oven is not working right now so these were done in the toaster oven. Took some time but I did other things while they were cooking. Once they were done I put them in a covered bowl to stay warm. I got out my canner and prepped it, had lids ready to heat in a small pan and made a pot of bouillion for the liquid to use.
When all was ready and the jars in the canner were boiling, I filled each jar with meatballs and bouillion, put on the lid and put in the canner. They were canned for 1hr 30 min at 10lbs pressure. When they came out they looked like this:
I have one jar that has not sealed so we have to eat that this week as re-processing would break down the meat too much. So we will have quick and easy makings for spaghetti or stroganoff! Just cook some pasta, heat up my homemade spaghetti sauce and add meatballs. Stroganoff takes a little more work but still quicker than waiting to cook meatballs at night when I'm tired and hungry.
Addenda: The taste was fine but the consistency of the meatballs after canning was rather like cat food. It has been suggested to me to barely brown them and not cook them thoroughly before canning. The long processing time actually overcooked them. I will try it again and see if that works better.
If you have never canned anything, I encourage you to try it. It is easy and you have instant food, much better than store bought as you know what's in it! Canned food will last indefinitely even though some fruit and vegetables might not look as pretty after several years. If you have questions on canning I would refer you to Ask Jackie which is in the blog list to the right. She's got great advice, recipes and experience.
I am thinking I will bake some meatloaf and slice it, then can it with tomato sauce as the liquid. Not sure what else I will make. I already made a pot of chili yesterday and it is almost gone!