I will not can in a box – Beef stew (canned)

Ok I will admit I had huge fears when it came to canning. Ok not regular canning – pressure canning. It – along with many great things in life – has become taboo – I had heard the stories of great aunt Lucy having her canner explode. Stories of low acid veg going bad and food poisoning people. For years I listened to the voices and left it to the professionals and resorted to making soup from scratch when I had the time. 

I lived in fear of pressure canning. When I finally did break down and buy my pressure canner it sat taunting me, like a bad Christmas sweater it sat unopened for 2 weeks. I knew exactly what I wanted to make first. Beef stew.

My family of boys eat a fair amount of stew all year long. To have it on the shelf saves both heat and time in the end. I had found a simple raw pack recipe located in the instruction book that came with my canner. It included great flavours like thyme garlic and red wine. Every bubble and whistle made me jump and 75 nerve wracking minutes later I had jars of stew lined up – few days later was the test…they looked fine, smelled fine and a tentative nibble – they were delicious ! I DID it. I actually canned meat and I didn’t get sick or die…. A mixed feeling of triumph and some kind of guilt swept over me- like i just got away with something and teams of doctors and canning police were gonna show up at my door and arrest me. I just broke through some kind of commercial barrier – I was not arrested – I was left alone to eat my freshly canned stew in peace. And i did.

When ready to eat simply heat up and add some thickener for a tasty gravy texture. If your vegan and want to omit meat – I will post a great vegan version of this recipe soon – cooking times will be different without meat.

Beef Stew – Pressure canned – Found on Healthy Canning.

  • 250 ml red or white wine (dry)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (OR non-bitter, non-clouding salt sub)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons thyme dried
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 150 g carrot (sliced. About 1 large or 2 medium carrots)
  • 150 g potato (diced. 1 cup / 5 oz. Measured after prep. About 1 medium potato)
  • 75 g celery (diced. 1/2 cup /About 1 stalk of celery)
  • 200 g onion (diced. 1 cup / 7 oz. Measured after prep. About 1 medium onion.)
  • 1 kg stewing beef (such as chuck or round) (2 lbs)
  • bay leaves
  • 2-4 cups beef broth (hot) – depending on jar size
  1. In a large bowl or pot, mix everything from the wine down to and including the thyme. Set aside
  2. Wash, peel and slice garlic. Add to bowl.
  3. Wash the carrot, peel it, wash again, then slice and add to bowl.
  4. Wash the potato, peel it, wash again, then dice and add to bowl.
  5. Wash the celery, dice it, add to bowl.
  6. Wash the onion, peel it, dice, and add to bowl.
  7. Put a kettle or pot of water on to boil for you to make your beef broth from, if you are using bouillon cubes, powder or liquid. If you’re using home-made, start heating it up. Add wine mixture and simmer for a minute or two
  8. Trim excess fat off beef. Cut into 5 cm (2 inch) chunks. Add to bowl.
  9. Using your clean hands or a very sturdy spoon, mix the contents of the bowl.
  10. Jar size choices: half-litre (1 US pint) or 1 litre (US quart)
  11. Into each warmed jar, put 1 bay leaf, then pack the jar firmly (but not overly tightly) with mixture.
  12. Leave 3 cm (1 inch) headspace.
  13. Add some of the wine sauce from the bowl (but leave enough sauce to go around for all the jars.)
  14. Top up the jars with hot beef broth (if you run out just plain boiling water is fine but try to be even as you can.)
  15. Debubble; adjust headspace.
  16. Wipe jar rims.
  17. Put lids on.
  18. Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet.)
  19. Processing time: half- litre (1 US pint) 75 minutes; 1 litre (US quart) 90 minutes.

2 thoughts on “I will not can in a box – Beef stew (canned)

  1. What a fun post!! I would not have thought to can beef stew. Sounds good!

    So a question. The meat to vegetable ratio seems like tons more meat than potatoes and carrots. What would you suggest if I wanted to increase the potatoes and carrots to at least match the meat amount?

    By the way, you are hilarious!! Love the personal reflections and how you add such fun humour! You really are a gifted writer Tara!

    Liked by 1 person

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