Several have asked how I use canned ground beef. The steps to canning ground beef include browning it, not terribly brown but mostly so all the pink is gone. Then removing it from the pan with a slotted spoon to try to leave as much grease behind as possible. I use a colander inside a large bowl so the grease will drain out into the bowl. Then I pour boiling water over the meat, pour off the water, then repeat til it appears most of the grease has drained off. Then . . it goes into jars.
There are many reasons I prefer to have meat in jars vs. the freezer. We saw one of those examples yesterday. The freezer can go out; the door can be left ajar, the power can go out. I hope this doesn’t affect us but when moving, it’s almost impossible to keep frozen food. When we left Missouri to move to Texas, I had frozen cherries that I really wanted to keep. I was advised to use dry ice but even keeping the dry ice as much as possible, it was 8 days from the time we left our home in MO til the movers arrived with our stuff in Texas. I lost the cherries.
According to the USDA, canned meats properly stored will last two to five years. I think we all agree that ground meat isn’t going to last five years in the freezer.
There are great ways to use canned ground meat and there are things that will not work with canned ground meat. I cannot make hamburgers to grill using canned meat. I cannot make meatloaf using canned meat.
Yesterday I had one jar that had not sealed and I thought I’d just clean around the lid and stick it back in the canner for the next run but then I decided to use it for lunch. I drained the water out of the meat, lined a plate with paper towels, and let the meat drain a bit more on the paper towels. Then I added just a bit of butter (You could use olive oil) and browned the meat a bit. For this instance, I used about a tablespoon of taco seasoning and made something like toastadas.
I had corn tortillas so I fried a couple of those, added the taco meat, a chopped tomato, cheese, lettuce, avocado and sour cream. Delicious!
Other ways in which I use canned ground beef:
- Spaghetti Sauce – I can open a jar of storebought marinara, add a jar of meat and a few extra spices and Vince is happy with it.
- Red Beans with ground beef
- Sloppy Joes
- Any kind of soup that requires browned ground beef
- Baked potatoes with ground beef, sour cream, cheese and chives
- Tacos, enchilados, burritos
- Stuffed Eggplant
- Zucchini Boats
Most any recipe that calls for browning the ground beef before using it . . that should work nicely using canned ground beef.
are you that finicky about the grease because of your allergy, or is that a necessary step for canning? we grind our own so can have control over the fat content, but like grease in it for flavor.
I removed the grease now because of my allergy. I can get by with eating a hamburger in a restaurant about once every two weeks. I don’t do it that often but the times I’ve had a burger out more often than two weeks, I have a reaction. Even then, I have to take Benadryl before going to eat and that puts me to sleep for hours so I try to avoid as much beef fat as I can.
The USDA recommendations for canning ground beef says to “remove excess fat” and I’ve always taken that to mean simply draining it with a slotted spoon and leaving most of the grease in the pan.
ty! i want to buy a new seal since it’s been so long since i:e used anything other than my steam canner. i agree with you about the canning vs.freezer for confident storage. i was leary about not having any fat/flavor tho, but will keep some in moderation. so excited to do this and appreciate your wisdom, sharing, time, and guidance
I’ll take a picture tomorrow and post it. There’s still some fat in mine even though I was trying to get rid of it all. Actually, the fat all ends up at the top so I’m not real sure how much it adds to the flavor once it’s been cooked but I seriously don’t know. So much for my knowledge! 🙂
Toni W. says
I’ve never asked you a question before. I found you through Jo’s blog. I’m wondering if you can do this same process and then freeze it? I know you said you don’t like to, but if I were to do that, that would work better for me. First of all, I have never canned and at my age, I’m not about to start now. LOL! I am in awe of all you do…I wouldn’t have a clue where to begin but I think it’s fascinating to read about. Thanks!
Toni, thanks for commenting. I understand about not knowing where to begin. It’s a good thing I started most of this when I was young and didn’t know any better because I just jumped in and I guess I learned as I went. I always had someone I could call for advice whether it was canning, gardening, cooking – not always the same person but I had a lot of folks in my life that I trusted for sage advice.
I can’t tell you about freezing cooked meat. I’ve never done it. You might could google it and see what you find. I don’t see a real advantage to it and I think there’s a difference in flavor of things canned vs. frozen but again, I’ve never frozen browned ground beef (at least not as far as I remember)/