18 June 2013

Canning Pork BBQ with Homemade Sauce!

I have been on a barbeque kick, yall! I have made it every week for the past 2 months. I love it with a corn cake and fresh coleslaw, bread and butter pickles optional. Plus, pork butts have been on sale.
I always change up my rub, but it usually consists of salt, black pepper, red pepper flake, garlic, ground mustard, and smoked paprika. Roast at 400 for 15 minutes then set that sucker on low, low, low! If the pork dries out, pour a little apple cider vinegar, beer, stock, whatever you have, on top. When fully cooked, cool until you can handle it. Now, some like minced, but I pull. I start with a fork, until I get impatient and go to it by hand.

To can, you can do it as is, topping off with stock or water, or even a splash of vinegar added to the liquid.
I know barbeque is a method, but I like mine smothered in smoky, sweet sauce. I didn't want to risk using a commercial sauce, since they often contain corn starch, and that's a no-no in canning. I tried to keep track of what I used, but you know how that goes. I quickly resort to tossing in whatever pops in my head, stirring and tasting like a witch over her cauldron. But this is what I was able to jot down:

2 12oz cans tom paste and stock, water to make 2 qts
1/4 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp mustard powder, 1/8 cloves
4tbs sorghum
1/2tsp red pep flake
1tsp black peppercorns
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 small onions, roasted
6 cloves garlic, roasted
3oz apple cider vinegar

I know I ended up with quite a bit more vinegar, tossing in a cinnamon stick, and more sorghum. The result was impressive for a first-timer! After processing, the smoke had really come out, so I may not cook the sauce so much next time. It is incredible, but I like a bit more tomatoey, sweet taste. Oh! Just use a blender stick to combine everything til smooth.

1. Combine all sauce ingredients and simmer (I did about 2 hrs, so maybe half that time if you like a more fresh, raw taste). While this is going, pull your meat and divide evenly among your jars to about 3/4 full.
2. Top meat with hot sauce, leaving 1 inch of headspace. If you are short a bit, top with water.
3. Remove any air pockets. Top with lids and rings.
4. Process for 90 minutes in a pressure canner.

Canning White Chili

Sometimes, you will try something new and kick yourself for not trying it sooner. At my son's birthday party, I served white chili as an alternative to those who don't like traditional chili. It was a big hit and ran out before anything else. That morning, I stripped down a chicken I had roasted earlier in the week and tossed in the slow cooker with the following: 2qts chicken broth, 2 cans of cannelli beans, rinsed, 2 cans green chilis, one chopped onion, 2 cloves garlic, salt, cumin, and a pinch of cayenne. I also provided chopped cilantro as a garnish. It was seriously delicious!

I thought this would be a great item to have stored in the pantry. After looking at similar recipes online, I set out on my own. This is super simple and requires no cooking.

1. Soak 2 pounds white beans (I used Great Northern) for 6 hours or overnight.
2. Heat 3 quarts of chicken broth. Add 1 Tbs canning salt, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp chili or cayenne powder.
3. Dice 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken. Thighs are my favorite. You can use raw or cooked, or sear chunks before canning. It will cook the rest of the way during processing.
4. Dice 2 medium yellow onions.
5. Divide ingredients evenly in clean jars, including 2 cans of diced green chilis and 2 cans salsa verde. (These are in the Mexican/Hispanic food section at just about every grocery store.) Top off with broth, adding water if necessary.
6. Process at 11 pounds of pressure for 90 minutes.

My batch produced 7 quarts. I did most of these in pints so that we had single servings for lunches. I love adding a bit of shredded cheese and corn chips. You could add some more veggies to this recipe, such as corn, tomatoes, or different peppers (anything will do...bell, pablano, jalepeno, etc.)
You could easily swap out turkey or chorizo, or skip the meat altogether.

Gettin Corny!

The in-laws gave us a big bag of fresh corn. While we love corn on the cob, there was no way we could eat all of it before it turned. Da-da-dum! Canning to the rescue!
Canning corn was a first, but I found it very easy and quick. We have since eatten from one quart, and the taste is out of this world! It literally tastes like you just cooked it from fresh, leaving commercially canned corn, and even frozen corn, a homely alternative. I was very impressed.

1. Shuck those ears! (You can dry the husks for tamales or even crafts, like the traditional corn husk dolls.) Scrub softly with a brush and running water to remove silks.
2. Cut the kernels from the cob. The easiest method for me was placing an upside down cup inside a large bowl. Use this platform for stability, and the bowl collects the kernels nicely. A serated knife works best. There are kernel strippers available. Try a kitchen store, like BB&B, etc, or ole reliable Amazon.com.
3. Fill to the bend of jars and top with hot water, adding canning or sea salt if desired.
4. Process for 75 minutes in a pressure canner.

I later found instructions on canning corn on the cob. Obviously, this isn't the most space efficient method, but it would be worth it if you prefer your corn on a handle.

After all is said and done, you have quite a bit of waste. Of course, everything is compostable. You can also dry the husks for tamales or crafts, like the traditional corn husk dolls. I was able to stretch the cobs by making corn cob jelly. Eh. Quit it. I see you turning up your nose, just like my family did. Think about it though. Corn is very sweet, and corn syrup is used in sweets all the time.

1. Place cobs in a stock pot, breaking them in half if needed. Cover with at least 2 inches of water.
2. Bring to a boil, then steep. Some recipes said 30 minutes; some said overnight. I honestly don't know how long I went. I let it steep while we ate dinner and spent time with the kids, so I would guess at least an hour. I brought it to a boil and just cut the heat off.
3. Remove cobs and strain. If you don't want the little corn bits in your jelly, strain through cheesecloth or a coffee filter.
4. Measure 3.5 cups of cob "tea" and bring to a rolling boil with a pack of powdered pectin.
5. Stir in 3 cups of sugar and bring to a rolling boil again for 3 minutes.
6. Do your jelly check. Pour into hot jars and process for 15 minutes in a hot water bath. Makes 5 half pints.

The taste is sweet and a bit woodsy.