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Archive for April, 2008

I’ve written about my love for canned Venison before.  There is not a better meat dish, in my opinion, than one made with canned Venison or Elk.

However, I know the process for canning meat can be quite intimidating and time consuming.  In an increasingly hectic world those words are like garlic to a vampire.  Interesting reading but “Keep that stuff away from me.  I barely have time to read about it much less make it.”

Yeah, I get it.  As much as I love to cook with it, I find myself in that same predicament.  We were fortunate enough to get some Venison this year but I haven’t had time (or more like, made time) to can it up.  So I thought I would share another option that actually saves a little time over the old canning method.

Pressure cooking.  Instead of canning it up for later, cook some of it in the pressure cooker and make one or two dishes with it in the near future.

How does that save time?

Well, pressure canning is so long and drawn out because it is a storage method.  Very handy and probably the best way to store meat long term.  Pressure cooking gives you the result without messing with the jars and all the prep work.  Pressure canning has about 90 minutes of cook time per batch.  That’s after you get it up to pressure.  That’s not including all the prep and finish work in order to be sure you have a well preserved product.  On top of that I normally make 2-3  batches at a time. So it takes up a full afternoon.

Pressure cooking is different.  Same cooker but much faster results.  No jars to mess with.  Just get the meat ready, make sure your canner is clean and ready to go and presto, you have cooked meat in a fraction of the time.

For example I will take my Venison trim, cube it up into 1/2-1 inch squares, toss it into some water in the canner (about 1 quart) and in 20 minutes of cooking time it tastes like I slow cooked it for four hours.  You can do the same with roasts or Beef or Pork or even whole chickens.  Anything that will stay together through the cooking process can be pressure cooked. (yes, someone will probably come up with an exception)  The cooking times and amounts of water vary with the cut and type of meat, as well as, whether you want soup stock.  Here is a handy chart for a quick reference.

Time Chart

Now as it says on this chart, you will want more water for weighted canners as this chart is designed for valved canners.  Also, more time means more water.  The canner can not be allowed to run out of water and no more can be added during cooking.  You can put a quantity in and boil it to see how long it lasts.  That way you won’t run it dry.

The meat comes out tender and full of flavor.  Even otherwise tough bits of trim are ‘melt in your mouth’ tender.

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