Saturday, August 18, 2012

One More Canning Post

For at least the next week. I promise.

In this canning post, I'll go over pressure canning. This requires special equipment, i.e. a pressure canner, as well as the funnel, jar grabber, and clean jars, lids, and rings.

PW has previously explored water-bath canning and hot jar canning. Enough with child's play. It's time to get serious.

This is very similar to the pressure canner I have, and I love it. It doubles as a pressure cooker. Pressure canning is used when you want to preserve vegetables or meat. Homemade spam, anyone?

We use the pressure canner to can everything at tomato camp except salsa. That means juice, pizza sauce, catsup, and spaghetti sauce. In this post, I will bestow you with the spaghetti sauce recipe. Lean in close; this is a gem: this spaghetti sauce is good. Like, really good. And the best news is that you don't have to can it. You can freeze it. No special equipment necessary there. And if you do make it, you will never want to go back to store-bought sauce again.

Here's the recipe:

4 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
4 carrots, grated
3/4 c chopped green pepper
2-3 T oil
1 c parsley, chopped
1 peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
48 oz tomato paste
2 T salt
2 T brown sugar
1 t pepper
4 bay leaves
4 t oregano
4 t basil
1 t thyme

1. Saute the garlic, onions, carrots, and pepper in the oil until soft.

2. Mix in remaining ingredients and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. If it ever gets too thick, thin it with some tomato juice.

                   The spoon. While it may be the best utensil, it's wholly unnecessary here. 

3. At this point you can freeze it in ziploc bags, or you can be brave and bold and pressure can it. 

Here's to being brave and bold!

To pressure can anything, the most important step is to FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE CANNER. I'm not trying to make anyone sick here. I'm also not trying to cover the ceiling of your kitchen with red sauce. These are our rudimentary steps:

1. Prepare. Make sure you have sterilized jars (we like wide-mouth pints) and rings and new lids. Have your funnel, jar grabber, dishtowel, and dipper at the ready. You know the drill.

2. Heat up the canner with a few inches of water at the bottom.

3. Fill a jar with sauce, wipe the rim, lid it, ring it, and put it in the boiling water. Repeat. About 14 times.

4. The next steps will be determined by your canner. You will basically heat the canner, raising the pressure to a specified poundage for a specified period of time. Then you'll let it cool down in a controlled manner. Remove the jars and you should hear the glorious POP! of the sealing lid.

5. Enjoy! While this may seem like the easiest part, it is not. You're going to want to eat this for every meal. But ration it. You'll thank yourself come March, when you find a hidden jar in the back of the pantry.

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