After spending yesterday canning the beef stew it really was the best of all the ingredients that I could have put into a jar. The meat I used was a top sirloin that was on sale, fresh carrots, celery and onions, and of course russet potatoes. Most of the time to make this "almost" meal was in the preparation.
The meat needs to be cut into cubes. You could use already cut up beef stew meat but sometimes that is more expensive since the butcher will add in their labor. The potatoes need to be peeled and then cubed, the carrots need to be peeled and sliced, and celery and onions chopped. That took me about 1/2 hour to get that done. I wanted to have everything done once I started the recipe.
It turned out to be very easy to put together. Since I didn't have to add the thickener I was relieved, as most of the time I have a lumpy gravy in my stew. I am not the best with cornstarch, flour, or thickeners, so I was excited that I didn't have to do that till we ate it! I think that it looks pretty fantastic as a base for the classic beef stew.
Here is the recipe for Beef Stew. Remember this must be pressure canned!
Beef Stew with Vegetables
(from Ball complete book of home preserving)
1T. vegetable oil
4 to 5 lbs. stewing beef, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
12 cups cubed peeled potatoes
8 cups sliced peeled carrots
3 cups chopped celery
3 cups chopped onions
4 1/2 t. salt
1 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
Prepare weighted or dial gauge pressure canner, jars, and lids.
In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Working in batches, brown beef adding oil if absolutely needed. Transfer beef to large stainless steel saucepan. (I used my 8 qt stock pot). Add potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, salt, thyme, pepper, and boiling water to cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
Ladle hot stew into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace by adding more stew if needed. Wipe rim with paper towel moistened with vinegar. (The vinegar helps to remove any fat that may be on the rim) Center lid on jar. Screw band on fingertip tight.
Place jars in pressure canner. Lock lid and bring to a boil over medium heat. Vent steam for 10 minutes. Process in canner for pints for 75 minutes at 10lbs at sea level to 1,000 ft. for weighted gauge and 90 minutes for quarts. For dial gauge process at 11lbs of pressure at sea level to 2,000 ft.
Once the time has elapsed turn off heat. Let the pressure return to zero naturally. Wait two minutes longer, then open vent. Remove canner lid. Wait 10 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
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