Monday, January 16, 2012

Canning Meat... Again!

It's seems about once a month I find myself canning meat. This time my local Vallarta market had pork cushion meat. They also call it tamale filling. I don't make tamales... yet, but I do like to take advantage of thrifty food finds. A few months back, I bought a pressure canner so I can put up meats, and vegetables that I grow in the garden. A pressure canner is an absolute must for low acid foods and while it's a bit pricey upfront, it pays for itself over time.

I'm making sure of that. So far I've canned chicken (breast and dark meat), beef cubes and pork cubes. If you're asking why I don't just freeze the meat, well, my freezer space is limited and right now it's filled up with a combination of raspberries (red and black), cherries (sweet & sour) and a couple full turkeys!

One of the reasons for canning is to save money on the food bill, but I also can to save time. I like the idea of grabbing a "good" can of food, warming it up and having it on the table in less than 20 minutes. And I've got the canning process down so it doesn't feel like it takes a lot of time. After the prepping I monitor the canning process while I'm working on the laptop in the kitchen. While I've canned just meat pieces so far, this time I wanted to try a meal in a jar. And therein lies my dilemma.What should I make with the pork?

My first thought was shredded pork and barbeque sauce for pulled pork sandwiches. Then I though shredded pork with onions, peppers and tomatoes for tacos. I flipped back and forth until I was totally flummoxed. I can usually make a decision, but this time around... I was at a loss! UGG!

So what did I finally do? Shredded pork in broth!

Not quite what I had in mind for a handy, ready meal on the shelf, but it will still works. Now I can add the barbeque sauce or taco seasoning to the already prepared meat and still save time. I can also use it for soups, casseroles or whatever else the muse suggests.

If you're interested in finding out more about how to use a pressure cooker to can meats, take a look at my Squidoo lens on canning meat.

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