How to Can Venison
November 22, 2011
Most people have things they associate with Thanksgiving, be it football, a trip to see the in-laws, or black Friday sales. Around here Thanksgiving coincides with hunting season. Our holiday is planned for it and around it. My in-laws have a ranch in the mountains so luckily I don’t have to lose my husband to a hunting camp. He goes stalking up the mountain and I hang out with his mom. If he gets lucky, we have the whole family there to help make light(er) work of the processing!
The manly part (as in, leave me out, thanks) of the event involves hanging the deer and field dressing it. The meat is then soaked in brine, rinsed and soaked again for at least one night. This gets the gamey taste out and helps tenderize the meat. The next day everyone gets involved in the work. At this point the meat looks like something you would buy in an open air market (leg of lamb, anyone?). We butcher as much as we possibly can. We cut off most of the sinew and fat, and portion the meat up for freezing, canning, grinding, or jerky. We prefer the frozen cuts and canned meat for it’s simplicity.
The awesome thing about canning the meat is that it comes out so tender, you don’t have to worry about the “silver” or gristle. This greatly cuts down on butchering time and uses up all the scraps. It’s also a homemaker’s dream when it comes time to prepare a meal in a hurry. Throw a jar into any recipe that traditionally calls for chunks of beef or lamb and dinner is done, no stewing required!
Cook Time: 1 Hr 30 Min
- Lean Venison
- Soak game in brine overnight, refrigerated. Rinse and cut up venison into approximately 1 1/2 inch cubes. Be sure to remove as much fat as possible for safety. Any gristle will tenderize in the canning process.
- Pack each quart sized jar 3/4 full with raw meat (approx. 2lbs of meat per quart). Add 1 teaspoon salt. Cover with hot water leaving 1-inch of headspace. Wipe rims.
- Lid jars and process in a pressure canner for 90 minutes (according to manual). Be sure to vent pressure cooker at steam for required minutes (see manual, all pressure canners are different) before closing petcock or putting on weight.
- Place jars in an area to cool where they will not be disturbed for at least 8 hours. Check seals after 8 hours. Refrigerate any jars that did not seal.
Prayer for Processing Game Meat:
Thank you for this life that was shed for me.
Help me to show it respect.
Please forgive my discomfort.
Give me the wisdom to be a good steward of this blessing.