We had talked about canning venison a few times. The day finally came. Since hubby and and I have NEVER canned a single thing, we turned to my parents for help. Dad got out the big pressure cooker and helped us get everything ready. It was much easier than I thought it would be. And the venison tasted amazing! We started with 4 pounds of venison shoulder, partially thawed and cut into pieces.
After boiling to sterilize the jars, lids, and rings, the venison was packed into the jars. One recipe called for 1 teaspoon of salt per quart. We were using pints and I forgot to adjust the salt for that! We used garlic salt then also added tomato juice to 2 of the jars. This was an experimental small batch, to test the process and try a couple different techniques.
Into the pressure cooker....
Once the steam builds and water spits out of the valve, close the valve and let the pressure build up to 10. Maintain heat for 75 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. It takes some watching to adjust the heat to maintain the correct pressure. After 75 minutes, turn off the pressure cooker and let the pressure go down on its own. Then release the pressure valve. Opening the pressure cooker required pliers and a screwdriver. It was only a few minutes after we took the jars out that we could hear the lids popping as the jars cooled and completed the sealing process.
The meat filled jars weren't quite as filled when finished. Lesson learned... pack more meat into each jar! Since the meat started out frozen, we could only get so much in the jars. Next time we'll use completely thawed meat so we can get more in the jars.
Eager to do a taste test, we opened 3 of the jars into a skillet to make a sauce to go over noodles. The meat was tender, a bit salty, and tasty! It was a success and we plan on canning more venison!
Don't go getting any ideas that I'm any kind of cook! This was a great opportunity for me to wear my apron, but it didn't get dirty! So now I can go put it back on and make some venison sausage meatballs!