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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Home Canning Venison

Just finished up with deer hunting season here. It's a blessing to have venison for the winter! After aging the deer (while hanging), for at least a week, I process the meat by canning, drying, smoking, freezing, making burger, sausage, etc..
I forgot to mention, this is whitetail deer.

Some of the boneless meat...

I like to cut some of the backstraps into steaks....

After removing the silver skin, I make a cut in the backstrap...not all the way through...

The second cut goes all the way through...

Then I press the steaks open to lay flat.
You can make them as thick or thin as you like.

This batch, I cubed some for canning and left a few roasts whole...

The backstrap steaks. I like to package them two to a pack before freezing. Just works out well for me.

For canning, I like to add a sliver of garlic and onion to each jar. 
Also a mixture of
 4 tsp beef bouillon,
 1 tsp onion powder, 
1/4 tsp seasoned salt. 
 I add 1/2 to 3/4 of a tsp of this blend to each pint jar of venison. 

I like to use the raw pack method with venison.. Pack the jars with the raw meat, NO liquids. The canning process makes the juice. 

Fill hot sterilized jars with the meat, top with onion, garlic and the bouillon blend. Leave 1" of head space. 

Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean towel dipped in white vinegar...make sure the jar rims are clean and not chipped for a good seal.
Keep the lids in a pot of hot water, not boiling, but hot.

Top each jar with a hot lid, screw on band and it's ready for the pressure canner...

I pour in 3 quarts of water and a couple TBS of white vinegar into the canner, add the bottom rack, then the first layer of jars.  (check the instructions on your pressure canner)

I can get 16 pints in my pressure canner at one time, so I place a second rack on top of the lower jars and add another layer of venison filled jars..

For my elevation, I process the venision at 12lbs of pressure for 75 minutes. Check your pressure canner instructions for your area.
When time is up, turn the heat off and let the canner pressure down on it's own. You don't want to rush this process.

After the canner has cooled, remove the jars and let them cool on the counter. They will seal while cooling. This doesn't take long, just space the jars a little bit. 

When the jars have cooled, check to make sure they are sealed. I like to leave them on the kitchen counter overnight, then wash the jars, label and put them in the cellar for storage.

I had to give one of the jars a taste test. It smelled so good!

I drain the liquid from the jar of venison, into the skillet...

Add cornstarch to thicken. (or flour)  I like cornstarch, it gives the finished gravy a "clear" look.

Add the venison, let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add more beef stock or water if needed...also adjust salt and pepper if needed.

I was pretty hungry and didn't want to take the time to make mashed potatoes, so I went with a baked tatoe. (yeah, I'm a slacker!:))

Topped the hot baked tatoe with the venison and gravy....

A quick meal for sure!!

The venison is so tender and the gravy is full of flavor....

It's a good feeling to have the meat on hand for the winter. I'll put it to good use. :)

I processed a few jars with a sliver of bacon added. Haven't tasted those jars yet but I'll do that soon.

Hope everyone had a safe hunting season this year. Friends that I've talked to were able to fill their tags and are putting the meat to good use.

The weather is down right cold here. I know the folks to the north are getting hit hard with this cold spell. No snow here so far, just cold.

Keep warm everyone and thanks for stopping by!


Oneeye said...

IMO there is no prettier meat then fresh venison! Looks great!

cowgirl said...

I agree with ya Oneeye, it's so rich and lean. Love the flavor too. :)
Going to slice up some for jerky if I get the time today.
Hope you're having a great weekend and keeping warm. Thanks for stopping by! :)