Raw Pack Beef Stew (Pressure Canning)

7:52:00 AM

I was perusing pinterest the other day and found a woman who had just canned about 20 quarts of beef stew.  Considering I had about 8 quarts in my crockpot at the time simmering for dinner, I figured beef stew would be an excellent day project...well, that and the fact that I recently purchased about 20 pounds of stew beef...

My recipe for beef stew is actually very simple. We don't like a lot of fluff in our food around here -meat, potatoes,carrot -simple.  It's great for a cold winter day (would you believe that as I type this post it is 23 degrees outside??? in PHOENIX? Yikes.) and of course, great for those emergency dinner nights - like Monday.

So, without further delay - here is my recipe for canned beef stew, and the directions which to do it.

Beef Stew (makes 4 quarts)

1 Package Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix
1 lb beef for stew
1 lb baby carrots cut into bite size pieces
1 lb russet potatoes cut into cubes
1 large onion diced
4 tsp. minced garlic (fresh or dried)
4 tsp salt
2-3  quarts boiling water

In 4 Quart sized jars layer:
salt, garlic, 3 tsp. beefy onion soup mix
1/4 pound beef
1/4 pound carrots
1/4 pound potato
1/4 diced onion

Add water leaving 1 inch headspace

Affix lids and rings tightly.

Place in PRESSURE canner and process at 10 lbs pressure for 90 minutes.
*10 pounds pressure up to 1000 ft sea level. Anything above 1000 feet process at 15 lbs.  If you are unsure of your altitude - this is a good place to start - http://www.daftlogic.com/sandbox-google-maps-find-altitude.htm) Also, if you are using a gauge canner, if under 1000 feet, use 10 lbs pressure.  If over 1000 feet, use this handy chart:

Pints and Quarts
Pints and Quarts
1,001 – 2,000 ft.
11 lbs.
15 lbs.
2,001 – 4,000 ft.
12 lbs.
15 lbs.
4,001 – 6,000 ft.
13 lbs.
15 lbs.
6,001 – 8,000 ft.
14 lbs.
15 lbs.
Processing time is the same at all altitudes.

Why do we pressure can?
Pressure canning is important for foods that are less acidic.  In a pressure canner, you can reach the temperatures needed to kill common bacteria and other organisms that can promote spoilage and mold growth.  I've heard people say that they oven can their stews etc. but that is simply not safe.  There is no way to tell, without opening and breaking the seal, whether the food on the inside has reached the appropriate temperature for the correct amount of time.  In addition, you risk the jars exploding in your oven (which is a mess you definitely do NOT want to clean up.)There are foods that are perfectly acceptable to preserve in a steam or boiling water bath. These are jams, jellies, pickles, most fruits, and some tomato based sauces like salsa.  The acidic content in these foods kills most bacteria.

I've had others tell me not to can the meat and the veggies together because the veggies get too soft.  I've not had this problem, and I like doing it this way, as the flavors meld together.  Also, you want to make sure you remove all the air bubbles in the jar when you fill with water, the meat will produce some liquid, but not enough to cover the veggies as well.  If the veggies don't stay covered, the potatoes especially can turn dark in the jar.

Remember to simmer your lids, not to boil them.  The point is to activate the  "glue" on the lid so you will get a proper seal.

1 inch headspace can be easily identified - it's the bottom of the ring.

I used to use a fork to assemble lids,then I found one of these things...LOVE!

Enjoy and Happy Canning!

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