There are 3 main ways of preserving meat, freezing, drying and canning, I’m sure there are a few more ways but those are the main ways we do it. Freezing meat is probably the most common method, the problems with freezing meats are if you leave it in your freezer for too long, especially if it’s not property packaged, you will find a nasty case of freezer burn when you open the package. There is also the risk of losing what is in your freezer if there is a power outage or your freezer fails. Today we will talk about preserving one of the cheapest meats, ground beef.
It’s cheap, so why worry about preserving it? Well, as I said before, putting it in your freezer is risky, unless you plan on using it soon… sometimes I’ll buy ground beef and plan on using it within a few days so I don’t freeze it, big mistake, it often smells a bit off after just a few days in the fridge, my local grocery stores aren’t known for having the best meat in the first place. I try not to buy meat from my local grocery stores but will buy up meat when I go to the big town (3 hours away). Since I don’t get out there very often, I’m likely to buy up more meat, especially if it’s on sale, so when I get home, I will not freeze it immediately but separate it into meal sized portions then freeze it. Again, if I don’t use it in a reasonable amount of time, my bargain meat isn’t such a bargain any more.
Another reason for canning ground beef, when you get ready to use it, it’s already cooked, all you need to do is pour it out of the jar, heat it, season it and you are ready to go, dinner is nearly done practically before you get started. Your canned meat has only what you put into it, no added salt, no added flavors, no added preservatives or other chemical ingredients you can’t pronounce, you have complete control over what’s in it.
When I found that ground meat could be canned, I decided this was the way to go, it’s already cooked, it’s going to last a whole lot longer than freezing, I don’t have to worry about freezer burn or losing what I have if the freezer or power fails… it’s also a lot easier than drying. Here is one of the videos I found on this subject, the following video is the taste test.
I am also going to start grinding my own ground beef, one of the problems with buying ground beef is the amount of handling that happens before it even hits the store shelves, each time it’s handled there is a risk of contamination, you are also getting many MANY different cows in that batch of meat, I don’t worry too much about mad cow disease, but the more individual animals that are being run through the grinder, the more likely it is that you will get a diseased animal in the mix. If you are buying one piece of meat, a roast or some other cut of beef, then you KNOW you are getting one animal per grinding, I like those odds a lot more.
Recently I found my KitchenAid mixer in my boxes of stuff that came with me when I moved off grid, as my kitchen expands, I am able to pull more and more boxes of stuff out of storage. I have the Food Grinder Attachment, I just have to find which box that is in, that hasn’t been located yet, but we are getting close. :)
I can’t wait to start grinding my own meat, and canning it too
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