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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Venison Stew


During the recent cold spells, I have had comfort food on my mind. Something warming! I have plenty of white tail venison on hand in the freezer and decided to make a batch of stew. 

 I cubed a couple of roasts, (from the hind quarters)...

Seasoned the cubes with coarse salt, cracked black pepper and a bit of garlic..

Dredged the seasoned venison in flour and gave it a quick browning in oil..

Started filling my sterilized jars...

Browned venison first.

Tatoes, onions and garlic...

Next the celery and carrots...

I do not care for cooked carrots, but I add them for color and for my house cat that loves them. lol

I fill the jars with a kicked up beef stock, leaving a one inch headspace..

Wipe the rims of the jars with a cloth dipped in white vinegar. Place the hot lids on top and screw on the bands..

The jars go into the pressure canner for 75 minutes (pints) at 12 pounds of pressure for my area. The pressure will be different for your altitude. Check your pressure canner instructions.

My canner held 20 pints at a time.

I let the jars cool overnight, check the seals, Wash and dry the jars and they are ready for shelf storage.

The flour from browning the venison cubes help thicken the stew while heating. You can add more as it simmers, if you like it thicker. 

I enjoy having the stew on hand. Add a hot tortilla slathered in butter.....It's a quick and easy meal when I don't feel like cooking!

Spring is almost here. The pastures are greening up and the nights are getting warmer. I think every window in my house is filled with plants for the veggie garden! I start my seeds early every year and run out of room to put stuff!

I probably should build a greenhouse. lol

Hope everyone stays safe. The weather has been crazy the last couple of weeks!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Cold Smoking and Canning Butter


I loaded up my smokehouse with a few things....mainly because I was out of stuff! I've been cold smoking butter but go through it so fast, I decided to can some to have on hand.

I went with 5 pounds of salted butter and 5 pounds of unsalted. Blending the two gives the butter a smoother texture than 100% salted. imo

Made my usual blend of coarse salt, cracked black pepper and garlic.. also a pan of the same with onion powder added..

Into the smokehouse with a few blocks of pepperjack and mozzarella cheese..

I let the butter smoke for about 2 hrs and kept the smoke around 65F degrees and below. 

Used a blend of light woods.

Removed the butter and let the cheese and salt blends go for another 4 hours..

I stir the salts every 30 minutes or so.

I chilled the smoked butter overnight...

Wrapped the cheese and it was ready to eat.

I jar up the smoked salt blends and they are ready to use..

The next day I slowly melted the smoked butter. It tasted amazing.... 

Skimmed off a bit of the foam, but reserved it for a later treat..

You have the option to keep skimming the foam and removing the solids that settle on the bottom to make clarified butter or ghee. I prefer not to. I like the flavor of whole smoked butter better.

I fill the hot sterilized jars with the smoked butter... being sure to stir the pot often before dipping, to keep the solids from sinking to the bottom of the pot. 

I wipe the rims of the jars with a cloth dipped in white vinegar before topping with lids and rings..
vinegar cuts through the fat well. 

Make sure the rim is clean or the lid won't seal. 

Into the pressure canner for 60 minutes at 12lbs of pressure. I used half pints. The pounds of pressure will be different for everyone. Check the instructions on your canner for your altitude. 

Let the jars cool on the counter. 

As the butter cools... I give the jars a shake every so often,  to redistribute the solids. By the time they are cool, the butter is blended and ready to eat. 

I should have made more. It's going fast!!

I've used the smoked butter on popcorn..

I use the smoked butter on my "dippin'" toast for cloud eggs... or any eggs. lol

Made a blonde, smoked butter roux for my crawfish etouffee... it was sooooo tasty. 

Smoked butter topped sous vide tri tip!

Scallops, seared in smoked butter...

The uses are endless! I will be making more soon, this time I will put the butter in larger jars. Half pints go fast!

Hope everyone is staying safe, healthy and happy!

 Things are normal here. Living in the middle of nowhere has it's perks. lol  The critters are doing great. I have garden plants started and will be moving them outside in a few weeks. The pastures are showing a hint of green, I saw a couple of robins bobbing around the yard. Spring has arrived!

Thanks for stopping by!