Monday, October 24, 2011

Canning Amish Poor Man's Steak and everything in between

update....Make sure you see my post written a year later on how the Amish Poor Man's Steak has held up.

 My blogging friend, Hoss Boss, over at Hoof 'n Barrel just thinks she had a rough canning day...LOL  I had a rough canning weekend that began Friday and ended around 10:00PM Sunday night.

I have been eye-balling this Amish Poor Man's Steak recipe ever since I bought the 80 pounds of ground beef a week or so ago and since another blogger (Kris Watson) recommended it and I happened to have had 30 pounds of ground remaining I thought...Go For It!

Now this recipe has everything in it the food police says not to can.  I did a lot of research on canning some things and have come to my own conclusion that this recipe is not going to kill me or my family.  I'm going to write a blog on this subject soon and give you the links to back it up.  Anyway...back to my canning adventure.   I knew I did not own anything large enough to mix up all the ingredients so I went down to the Dollar General and bought a 35 quart Sterlite Container.  After a little soap, bleach and drying I was ready.



I chopped 5 cups of celery


and 5 cups of onions


crushed 6 tubes of saltines which is 1 1/2 pounds


cracked open and whisked 2 dozen eggs


measured 5 cups of milk




All of these items were placed in my container as they were measured.  Hey...that looks pretty.  Now I know what a chef in a restaurant feels like adding huge amounts of ingredients.



the recipe just reads...salt and pepper.  Don't you just hate it when that happens?  So I added salt and pepper.  I don't exactly remember how I came up with my equation but it worked out pretty well  at the time.  I figured the saltine crackers are salty and the condensed mushroom soup is going to be salty so I added what I thought would be right and I will tell you how much when (if) I find the piece of paper I scribbled it on.....  Just in case you want to be as adventurous as me and try this recipe.




celery, onions, saltines, eggs, milk, salt and pepper mixed together.  oh yeah...I'm really feeling chef like




time to add the 30 pounds of ground beef


now I warn you... Run you a sink of warm/hot water near where you are working.  When you start mixing and mixing and mixing all of these cold ingredients with your washed, cleaned and naked hands you are going to want to plunge them into something very warm every few minutes.  My hands were burning with cold.  At this point I was feeling sorry for the chefs in restaurants who have to do this kind of stuff everyday. 


I didn't get a picture of the mixing itself as my hands at this point was to numb with cold to hold the camera but this is what everything looked like when I started making the steak patties.  I shoved all the ingredients to one side of the container and placed my patties on the other side using waxed paper to separate the stacks to prevent them from sticking.




 I used the wide mouth rim and lid again to form the patties, just like I did when I made the meatloaf last week.  Using this method will ensure the patties will fit into the wide mouth canning jars.



I only have one broiling pan and I have a lot, I mean a lot of meat to cook so I made another by using a large roasting pan with my cake racks over it.  The Amish recipe reads to bake on cookie sheets but I want to drain as much fat as possible from them.



Between the broiling pan and the roasting pan, I could cook 27 patties at once. 
I baked in preheated 375 degree oven for 35 minutes and alternated the pans about half way through cooking time.  It took me a little over 4 hours to cook them all.  I piled up 2 huge roasting pan and covered them with tinfoil and placed them in the refrigerator as they came from the oven.
When my last batch was baking (late Friday afternoon by this time) I started making the gravy.  I had strained off some of the fat from the broiler and roasting pan and set aside to make the brown pan gravy.  Trust me....save much more than this.


I put 1/2 cup of the strained fat into a skillet and heated over medium heat until hot.
Next I added 1/2 cup of plain flour.  The secret to making a good gravy base is to stir, stir, stir and don't cook it too fast.  You can control this by lifting your pan on and off the eye of the stove.   You want to brown the flour slowly without burning it.  


I had already put 5 cans of the mushroom soup along with 5 cans of water in a pot to begin warming.  I think this was almost 2 quarts.  Trust me again.  The recipe doesn't say how much gravy to make but you are going to need to make a lot.  When I make this again I will try to get a good measurement.  I had to make gravy 3 times during canning and even ended up using two more cans of soup than the recipe called for.


I added some of the mushroom soup mixture to the browned flour.  Be careful...it gets angry during this procedure.  Keep adding and stirring and things will calm down.


I then added my base from the skillet to the pot of mushroom soup, stirred it in well and simmered while I reheated patties in the microwave.  I totally forgot to take a picture of filling the jars but you put a patty in the jar, cover that with the gravy mixture and then another patty and more gravy until the ingredients are one inch from the top.  I got 5 patties in a jar.


I only did one canner load Friday evening as it was getting late and I was tired and disgusted.   I no longer want to be a chef!  When I was filling the 5th jar I realized my magnet was missing from the little wand thingy that I use to get the hot lids and bands out of the water.  Here I am thinking that magnet has ended up in the 4th jar and I have no idea which jar is the 4th. So now I am thinking when they cool off I can kind of shake the jar and see if I can find the magnet but you know what?  Little pieces of mushrooms floating around will look like a magnet as well.  I guess I will mark these jars as "Magnetic Poor Man's Steak" and we'll be extra careful to look for the magnet as we open them for a meal.  They looked great coming out of the canner.  I processed these for 90 minutes at 11 pounds of pressure on my dial gauge.


One jar didn't seal so we got to have a sample.  It is surprisingly very good and no...the magnet wasn't in that one.  Papa Bear knew I was really worried about the magnet so he pulled the stove out form the wall.  There was no magnet.  He then took a ruler and ran it along the side edges of the stove and out flew the magnet.  Apparently when it fell, it bounced and then stuck to the stoves bottom edge.  I don't have to mark the jars "Magnetic Steak" after all.  After all this drama... I am through for the day...On to Saturday.

Last week when I was canning Meatloaf, Italian Meat Sauce and Taco filling I grew so tired of having to watch the pressure dial.  You can't turn your back on it for one minute and you constantly have to adjust the heat up or down.  When you are having to process your items for 90 minutes this can be very tiresome and you are basically chained to the kitchen. Having to watch this dial actually got me searching on line for a new pressure cannerI wanted one with a weighted regulator so all I have to do is listen for the sound and rocking noise. Well low and behold in my search I found out that I could use a weighted regulator in place of the one I had.  I found one at Amazon with free shipping and with the points I had it ended up costing me a little over $8.00. 

I was hoping the new gadget was at the post office.  Our mailbox is 3/4 miles down the road and the post office does not deliver packages down our road so I waited until the post office opened and called to see if it was there.  Nope.  My last hope is that it is a small enough item to be shipped in a padded envelope and it still may be in Saturdays mail.  I decided to wait and work on the "Pazebo"

I thought we would be through with the Pazebo this week but we still have a few small things to finish. I got at least one coat of paint on everything Saturday in between deer watching.  It's turning out really pretty.  Next spring I will plant some flowering vines to climb the lattice.
 Papa Bear didn't get around to going to the mailbox until late afternoon and guess what he brought home?....My new best friend.
 After helping with the evening chores and washing the paint off of me, I gave it a test run.  It was too late for me to start another canning project so I filled up the canner with water only and tried out my new best friend.   It works!  I am actually looking forward to my canning adventures Sunday.
Sunday I finished everything, although it took me all day.  I pulled the last canner load out around 10:00 PM. ...but I didn't have to stand guard at the stove.  I was actually able to load the dishwasher, do laundry and piddle around some in the yard while everything cooked.  I even made and baked two loaves of bread so the grandson could have his peanut butter and jelly sandwich after school snack.

This recipe made 142 patties!  I canned 28 quart jars and the breakdown in cost is about $2.25 a jar.  But the thing that puts a smile on my face is we have 28 (27) more meals- in- a -jar added to our preps!


40 comments:

  1. Great day, what a ton of work...bet it's good.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fantastic! I have a weighted guage pressure canner (Mirro, I think from Wally World) and I love it! I don't have to test my guage/dial and I can do a lot of stuff it I'm not tied to reading the guage.
    I'm still a bit scared to can stuff with eggs and gravy, so I'll be real interested in hearing how this works over the winter. It looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Stephen.. It is not a gourmet meal but I'm just a plain, old country girl anyway so plain and simple works for me. It will be a good hearty meal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the way you wrote and posted how you did this. We live in Salmon Idaho and have an Amish community 9 miles up the highway with a pretty large Amish store. My son has an Amish boss as well. How do I join your page? I am not finding a place to click so I wont lose it? I can almost everything we grow and hunt. Do you think it would be alright to use our Elk or Deer/Venison burger for this recipe?

      Delete
  4. HP... I used to think the same as you about not canning certain things. I plan on writing about things I found on canning but in the meantime look up Aseptic processing. This is where some milk, soup and gravies are put in shelf stable boxes. The temperatures they use to kill bacteria are no higher than the temperatures our pressure canners get during processing. From everything I read on the process the benefits for aseptic processing is a higher nutrition count in the food such as for milk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would love to have more information on this!! I can some of my own recipes based on safe canning practices/ times which do not follow an FDA approved recipe. Little leery on milk and eggs.

      Delete
  5. WOO HOO !!!!! You totally rock!!! I am waiting for ground beef to go on sale at Winco so I can make more. They are SO yummy! You did a fantastic job! Now I want to go to the store.....which would be funny, because I don't have any money. But---I can make a really pathetic pouty face. Pretty sure it would work.

    Once again---Just an amazing effort and awesome result!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey MamaBear, I'm not about to can anything but those burgers look delish and it's a great way to make a large batch and freeze. Thanks for the idea. Will make them soon.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Kris.... I ran out of money before I ran out of the monthly household budget this month or I would be checking tomorrow to see if I could get another case of 80 pounds for $123.00! I made a whole lot of meals from that box of beef and only two little quart Ziplocs of grilled burgers ended up in the freezer.

    Thanks for the compliments!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey GBG..Thanks for stopping by! I am trying to can everything I can and break the freezer habit. I have one deep freeze, one upright freezer and the freezer on my side by side refrigerator/freezer. I want to eventually get down to the side by side only.

    We still grill a lot of meat and store it in the freezer especially grilled burgers. I tried a canning experiment with the burgers last week and they were horrible!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, MammaBear, I am impressed! I'm a morning person by nature and am pretty much useless after 9pm ...I admire your tenacity! I want to try this and your meatloaf in a jar recipe too.

    I never learned to like mushrooms myself but Yeoldfurt loves them. I think I might do some for him in wide mouth pint jars with the mushroom gravy and some for ME in wide mouth pint jars with brown gravy or tomato sauce like your meatloaf. He gets his favorite and I get my favorite and we don't even have to go to Luby's! LOL

    The pazebo looks great too. Can't wait to see it with flowering vines!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hey HB... Unless I find more wide moth jars in the shed, I am through canning any of the patties. I still have tons of regular jars. Guess I'll go back to canning other things in a week or two. I'll be watching for your "experiments"!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I saw this on Kris's site, too. They sound delicious. I will have to try some soon. I have to sadly say that I never ever see great hamburger deals like you get in my neck of the woods.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Cynthia@creativecanningDecember 17, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    :-) oh gosh it looks like so much work!
    Gosh hamburger is $2.98 a lb here.
    I love your site!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Mamma Bear,

    My mother tongue is french, sorry for any bloopers. :)

    I have found your blog on Cynthia's @creativecanning

    I live in Montréal, Canada. I am a home canning fan too. I publish (in french) a home canning blog and run a homme canning forum too.

    I find this recipe very interesting, especially since it's off general USDA guidelines (milk eggs, etc.). it is very well presented here with a good text and all the pictures we need.

    Can I ask you to post a link to this page on my french forum so someone could volunteer to translate it in french ?

    All proper credits and a link to here for the photos would be kept in the translation.


    Here is the adress of the forum

    http://www.conserves-maison.com
    and my blog
    http://conserves.blogspot.ca

    Best regards and happy canning !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vincent....Your English is better than mine! You are more than welcome to copy and use this recipe. Just make sure everyone receives a warning that the USDA warns not to can foods with ingredients like what are in the recipe. We've opened a jar for a meal at least once a month with no ill effects.

      Delete
    2. Great !

      It will take a couple of days before anything show up, since your recipe will be the first in a new section of the forum.

      Thank you for sharing Mamma Bear. I will keep you posted.

      Happy Easter !

      Delete
  14. Mamma Bear: I remember mother canning everything under the sun so we could get by the rest of the year ( I am 70 now) and we lived..think many times the USDA is to strict when common sense should work.. I sometimes think that little extra dirt with mud pies was why we didn't get so sick as people do now..Only my opinion. I too am putting up extra food, medicienes,paper products and dog food& treats..JUST IN CASE..alot of people think I am silly..but better to HAVE then HAVE NOT. THANKS for your POST. Bill

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you on the fact that as we were growing up and allowed to get dirty playing outside is what has prepared our bodies to shake off simple germs that other are waylayed by. I made my kids go outside and get dirty because childhood is best spent playing in nature and not kept clean in front of the boob tube. Not only does it build their bodies but also expands their minds.

      Delete
  15. This, too, sounds pretty good, and we will be trying it. Thanks!

    Tried making our own condensed mushroom soup a couple of years ago. It fairly labor intensive, but soooo good. It uses ClearJel instead of flour. Some of my canning buddies and I have been experimenting with subbing ClearJel for flour (in the same amounts) and it usually turns out just fine. And is great to have on hand in case you want a sauce to thicken a bit without using flour.

    That mushroom soup (suitable for canning)recipe is here: http://chickensintheroad.com/farm-bell-recipes/cream-of-mushroom-soup-to-can/

    When I made it I used an egg slicer to slice the mushroom caps and chopped the stems very fine so as not to waste them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to be late in replying...I could not get into my blogger account until a few days ago. I am going to have to check out your recipe for the soup although I never can find a really good price on mushrooms of late. Never thought about using clearjel.. Have not had any problems with anything the food police tells us not to can....LOL I think most of us are smart enough to not eat something that looks or smells funny!

      Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  16. Oops! Forgot to sign the above post...

    Pete

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow Looks so yummy have to try this. I have a question do you have a printable version?? I hate copy and paste when I have to delete the pictures to save on ink and it is horrilbe to get it to fit page. Thank you !!
    Linda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda,
      If you go to the second paragraph of my post and click on Amish Poor Man's Steak it will take you to where I got the original recipe. It is a simple copy and paste with no pictures.

      Thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  18. Hello there! This is my first comment here so I just
    wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your blog
    posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same
    subjects? Appreciate it!
    Also see my site > drum tobacco

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a amazing find here. I have been canning now for only two years and I am so hooked. My hubby and I just love Salisbury Steak and the other day I attempted to make some from a recipe I found online. But it was for freezing. We are both dedicated hunters and now can most of our venison.
    What I am trying to say is I will adapt this recipe with my venison Salisbury Steak recipe. Instead of freezing and taking up space there I will try canning Salisbury Steak. Thanks for the inspired idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet Salisbury steak will be awesome canned especially made from venison.

      Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  20. Hi Momma Bear...Your recipe is excellent...I have canned meat for years but never have tried this. Your recipe looks like a basic meatloaf recipe, shaped into patties so I am guessing that any favorite meatloaf recipe would work as would any ground meat or combination of meats.

    As for feeling sorry for professional cooks who make large volumes of things, we have equipment to handle it. Although retired now, I cooked professionally and even owned my own restaurant and bakery for several years. Take mixing the meat, we have large capacity mixers with dough hooks that we mixed our meatloafs with. We cracked eggs into our big blenders to beat them. The only actually hands on, would have been the shaping of the patties, but that would have been handled minimally. We have perfectly portioned scoops that would have measured the meat, and a press to press them flat. The only touching would have been to remove them from the press, then that would have been done with gloved hands. We still have not come up with something to crack all those eggs yet, but I assure you, someone is working on it...So do not feel too sorry for us...Just like you, we love what we do, we just do it in larger volume is all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just knew you professionals had a better method of mixing things other than bare naked hands! Let me know if you try the recipe and if you like it. When I open a jar I add some brown gravy mix to thicken the gravy and give it a little more flavor.

      I did use a favorite meatloaf recipe and canned quiet a few jars of meatloaf. I poured tomato juice over those patties and processed them. They are quite good too! Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment!

      Delete
  21. What a great idea on the homestyle hamburger press!!! I love that idea and I'm going to try this recipe (as soon as I conquer my fear of the pressure canner!) Thanks for sharing. I love the detail you went to!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you sweetjeanette although I am several months behind in doing so.

      Delete
  22. I like the idea of making bulk meat patties and canning them, but I would not put them in a milky sauce. I would use beef broth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to be late replying. I have not blogged for a few months and did not check the email but I'm back now!

      I once thought the same as you but we are still eating these 2 years later and they as good as the day I made them! I always say do what you are comfortable doing in the end.

      Delete
  23. Could this be done in a hot water bath canner?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely not in a WB. Meat must be pressure canned.

      Delete
  24. Hi, Where did you buy your weights to use? I need some and can't find any. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  25. This looks amazing!! How long will these jars last if I put them in my cook, dark basement? I am new to canning and just can't seem to find where it will tell me how long things like, salsa, green beans, potatoes etc. will last. Please Help, thank you so much!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  27. No wide mouth jars left, but still have meat left? Use small mouth jars and make meatballs instead of patties. Serve over noodles.

    ReplyDelete

Search This Blog