Home-Canned Meat Recipes

Unplug your freezer and fire up the pressure canner! These hearty recipes will guide you to well-stocked pantry shelves.

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by AdobeStock/Olena Butivshchenko

Quality matters when you’re canning meat, just as it does when you’re canning vegetables. You should choose only first-rate meat for home canning. Avoid anything with a pungent smell or that feels slimy.

If you’re processing your own animals, make sure you’re using sanitary slaughtering procedures. Home-processed meat should be chilled at 40 degrees Fahrenheit as soon as possible, and beef should be aged 3 to 10 days. Home-processed pork doesn’t need to be aged.

If the meat cannot be canned within a few days of aging, slaughtering, or being purchased, it will need to be frozen. It can still be canned at a later date; but be sure to allow enough time to thaw it first. Beef and pork should be kept cold until you’re ready to can.

Canned meat will usually have a tender texture, because the pressure canning process tenderizes it. Tough cuts of canned meat, such as brisket, end up being tender without long, slow stovetop cooking.

Before canning, trim off gristle, bruised spots, and visible fat. The finished jars will always contain some fat; you want to avoid an excessive amount. I’ve found that pressure canning tends to make meats a little drier than those that’ve been cooked fresh. This is especially true for lean cuts, such as flank steak. The National Center for Home Food Preservation’s canning guidelines allow you to brown lean meat in a small amount of fat before canning. But don’t add much, because fat can climb up the sides of jars during processing and prevent the lids from sealing properly. My favorite meat to process at home is brisket because it’s marbled throughout, which makes the meat less dry when canned.

Beef and pork strips, cubes, and chunks can be canned by packing them into jars raw (as with the Pot Roast in a Jar recipe, opposite), or with the hot-pack method (see the recipes for Beef in Wine Sauce, opposite, and Eye of Round Steak with Onion Gravy, below.)

If you want to have a lively discussion among a group of canners, just ask if sausage, bacon, ham, and other cured meats are safe to can. You’ll get answers that range from, “I do it all the time and no one has ever died,” to “Absolutely not! You’ll kill someone.”

The truth lies somewhere between these extremes. The curing process makes meat denser and, therefore, harder for the heat from pressure canning to penetrate. I err on the side of safety and don’t can entire jars of cured meat.

However, some tested recipes have cured meat as ingredients, for example, the bacon in my Beef in Wine Sauce recipe that follows.

Breakfast sausage, which is an uncured sausage, is safe to can. So are uncured link or cased sausages, but they’re difficult to find unless you make your own. The texture of canned uncured links is a little moister than that of grilled or pan fried, but the flavor is still great.

Below are three of my favorite recipes for pressure canning meat. For more advice and recipes, see the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.

Pot Roast in a Jar Recipe

A cut-with-your-fork pot roast usually has to be cooked long and slow, which is why it’s typically reserved for Sunday dinner. But you can enjoy tender pot roast anytime with this canning recipe.
Yields 4 one-quart jars.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 pounds chuck roast, cubed
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cups peeled and sliced carrots
  • 3 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons non-iodized salt
  • 4 bay leaves

Instructions

  1. You’ll need four clean 1-quart jars. Pour a few inches of water into your pressure canner, or whatever amount the manufacturer specifies. Heat the jars inside the canner on the stovetop over low heat. The water should be about 140 degrees Fahrenheit for this raw-pack recipe.
  2. In a medium stockpot, combine the broth and wine and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer to keep the liquid hot while you prepare the beef and vegetables.
  3. Remove the preheated jars from the canner and place them on a towel to prevent contact with your cold countertop. Pack 3/4 pound of cubed raw meat into each prepared jar. Add 1/4 cup onions, 1/2 cup carrots, and 3/4 cup potatoes to each jar.
  4. Next, add 1 clove garlic, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 bay leaf to each jar.
  5. Remove the stockpot from the heat and carefully ladle hot liquid into each jar until you have 1 inch of headspace remaining.
  6. Remove any bubbles with a clean knife or bubble removal tool, and recheck the headspace. If you’re short on liquid, top off the jars with hot water or broth.
  7. Wipe the jar rims with a clean, damp cloth. Secure the lids on the jars by screwing on the canning rings, and load the filled jars into the pressure canner.
  8. Process the jars at 10 psi for 90 minutes, adjusting for altitude if necessary per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  9. After processing, turn off the heat and allow the canner to depressurize naturally, then remove the jars and let them cool on the counter for at least 12 hours. Check the lids to make sure they’ve sealed. Store properly sealed jars for up to 1 year. Eat the contents of any unsealed jars immediately.
  10. To serve: In a medium stockpot, bring the contents of a jar to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and thicken with 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour per quart jar of meat, if desired. Stir constantly after adding the flour, being careful not to break up the vegetables. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Beef in Wine Sauce Recipe

If you’ve ever made Julia Child’s boeuf bourguignon, you’ll know it takes all day and requires a bunch of pots to make one meal. This recipe is my attempt to get additional equally delicious meals for my time. The meat tenderizes and the flavors deepen nicely while under pressure – and no one will know you didn’t spend all day in the kitchen. Yields 7 one-quart jars.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound bacon, chopped
  • 4 pounds chuck or round,
  • cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 cups chopped onions
  • 6 cups peeled and sliced carrots
  • 2 pounds sliced mushrooms
  • 14 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 quart water

Instructions

  1. You’ll need seven clean 1-quart jars. Pour a few inches of water into your pressure canner, or whatever amount is specified by the manufacturer. Heat the jars inside the canner on the stovetop over low heat. The water should be about 180 degrees Fahrenheit for this hot-pack recipe.
  2. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, fry the bacon for about 10 minutes, or until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, but reserve the bacon grease in the pot. Sear the beef cubes in the bacon grease. Stir the meat to make sure all edges get browned. If you need to work in batches, keep the seared meat warm by placing it inside a lidded container.
  3. Add the onions, carrots, mushrooms, and garlic to the stockpot. Return the bacon to the pot, and pour in the wine and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then turn the heat down to simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the stockpot from the heat. Divide the mixture evenly among the jars, using a slotted spoon to place the solids inside the jars first. Carefully ladle the hot broth into the jars, leaving 1 inch headspace.
  5. Remove any bubbles with a clean knife or bubble removal tool, and recheck the headspace. If you’re short on liquid, top off the jars with boiling water.
  6. Wipe the jar rims with a clean, damp cloth. Secure the lids on the jars by screwing on the canning rings, and load the filled jars into the pressure canner.
  7. Process the filled jars at 10 psi for 90 minutes, adjusting for altitude if necessary per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  8. After processing, turn off the heat and allow the canner to depressurize naturally, then remove the jars and let them cool on the counter for at least 12 hours. Check the lids to make sure they’ve sealed. Store properly sealed jars for up to 1 year. Eat the contents of any unsealed jars immediately.
  9. To serve: In a medium stockpot, heat the contents of a jar over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until bubbling. Thicken with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, if desired, and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat and vegetables are heated. Serve over a bed of egg noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes.

Eye of Round Steak with Onion Gravy

pieces of beef and a round steak sitting on a black table with peppercorns and…

This super-affordable cut has less flavor and tenderness than more expensive cuts of beef. Pressure canning eye of round steak with onions and beef broth makes it flavorful and tender. Yields 4 one-pint or 2 one-quart wide-mouth jars.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon non-iodized salt
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 pounds eye of round steaks
  • 4 cups chopped onions

Instructions

  1. You’ll need four 1-pint or two 1-quart jars, preferably wide-mouth. Pour a few inches of water into your pressure canner, or whatever amount is specified by the manufacturer. Heat the jars inside the canner on the stovetop. The water should be about 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium stockpot, bring the broth and salt to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer to keep the broth hot while you prepare the meat.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the oil and then sear each steak for 2 to 3 minutes per side; thin steaks will only need to be seared for 1 to 2 minutes per side. You’ll need to work in batches. To keep the seared steaks warm, stack them in a lidded baking dish or a Dutch oven.
  4. Next, bring the broth back to a boil while you divide the prepared steaks and onions between the jars. I like to lay the jars on their sides, stack the steaks inside, and then place the onions on top.
  5. Remove the broth from the heat, and carefully ladle the liquid into the jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove any bubbles with a clean knife or a bubble removal tool and recheck the headspace. If you’re short on liquid, top off the jars with boiling water.
  6. Wipe the jar rims with a clean, damp cloth. Secure the lids on the jars by screwing on the canning rings, and load the filled jars into the pressure canner.
  7. Process the filled jars at 10 psi for 75 minutes for 1-pint jars, or 90 minutes for 1-quart jars, adjusting for altitude if necessary per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  8. After processing, turn off the heat and allow the canner to depressurize naturally, then remove the jars and let them cool on the counter for at least 12 hours. Check the seals to make sure they’ve sealed. Store properly sealed jars for up to 1 year. Eat the contents of any unsealed jars immediately.
  9. To serve: In a medium stockpot over medium heat, first warm up only the liquid contents of a jar until bubbling. Then, use tongs to gently remove the steaks from the jar and place them into the pot. Add 1⁄4 cup half-and-half, and thicken with 1 teaspoon flour, if desired. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes more. Serve over a bed of egg noodles or rice.

Angie Schneider is a cook and freelance writer whose books include The Ultimate Guide to Preserving Vegetables. This is an excerpt from her latest book, Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond, Page Street Publishing (2021).

Additional Resources

Preserve mincemeat filling with your pressure canner!

  • Updated on Dec 16, 2021
  • Originally Published on Dec 9, 2021
Tagged with: beef, canned-meat, dutch oven, pantry, pork, pressure cooker, recipes
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