I'm weary of pressure canning venison.

I’ve been at it for two solid days now. I didn’t even go deer hunting this year, due to ill health. Good ol’ dad, though, dragged his elderly diabetic heart-diseased ass out there and killed like a champion. He dumped the skinned and quartered carcasses on me for processing. Some nostalgiac impulse made him decide he wanted canned deer meat. My little toy pressure cooker wasn’t up to the task, so it was off to the hardware store. $100 later, I was the proud owner of a 16 quart pressure canner.
I didn’t bother with any fancy butchering, I just cut the meat off the bones and cubed it. The recipe is quite simple: fill the jar with meat, add a spoonful of kosher salt, and process at 11 pounds for 90 minutes. I actually run things at 15 pounds, but otherwise keep to the recipe.
I’m down to the last few jars and have one jar that is only 1/3 full of meat. I’m kicking around some ideas about what I could experimentally throw in with it to fill things up. Right now, I’m kind of leaning towards onion and green pepper. Whatever. I’m tired of cutting meat. I’m tired of hearing the canner hiss and rattle. I’m tired of obsessing over cleanliness and whether each jar has its proper hermetic seal.

Next year, give me a call. I’d be happy to take all that damn venison off your hands!

Will do. Shall I just leave the carcasses on your porch?

This made me giggle. :stuck_out_tongue:

If I had that much venison, I’d have to learn how to turn it into jerky/sausage. My dad used to get some from his work pals, and I have been hooked on salty preserved deer ever since. I have no idea what pressure-cooked would be like; so…what’s it like?

I have a jar of little marinated hot peppers here from a co-worker you can toss into that last jar if you like.

It comes out a lot like meat that has been cooked in a crock pot. Very tender and swimming in its own juices, though one adds no liquid to the jar. One jar failed to seal last night, so I’ve already eaten some. After time separates me a bit from the last couple days, I’ll probably be a lot more enthusiastic about the stuff than I am just now.
Dad will probably eat his share just as it comes from the jar, heated and with some mashed taters on the side. I will likely end up using mine as the basis for quick stew, chili, and such.

I would love a bambi, mrAru hasn’t been able to go hunting for the past couple of years, and my only alternate source [my dad] died a year and a half ago =(

So … if you are tired of processing bambi, I would gladly take one or half of one off your hands [we prefer to butcher out and freeze]

So I did a little experimenting. I put a spoonful of minced garlic in a couple jars and did a couple with smoked Spanish paprika. The partial jar I topped up with onion and carrots, figuring the final product would be canned pot roast. We’ll see how deviating from the recipe works out.

When I was a kid back in the 60’s and 70’s, my parents used to home can a lot of stuff. Part of it was money, part of it was that it was, I guess, a hobby of theirs. The advantage of this canned venison was that it would keep all year and not get freezer burn. They used to can salmon too when my dad and brother still went salmon fishing.

I was never much into this kind of thing. Had enough of it when I was a kid and had to help them. Now that I’ve blown a C-note on a big pressure cooker, though, maybe I’ll play around with it some. Certainly, I don’t see myself using it as a cooker too often. The recipes that came with it all use nine to twelve pounds of meat. That’s a lot of left overs.

That’ll be just fine. If I’m not up for the butchering task myself, I’ve got plenty of people around who’d be more than willing to help.

Seriously, I’d love to have an entire deer to cook up. But I’m also far too soft-hearted to pull the trigger myself, so I just live on the generosity of hunters.

Screw that, it would have been frozen or else…

it just struck me that hunting is a cheap as hell way to get meat. potentially tens, if not hundreds of pounds of meat. labor cost aside, of course.

edit: of course i only clicked on this link to find out if the OP was truly weary or just wary. being a city slicker, i thought he’d be wary as i am. however… i am pleasantly surprised that there was no typo. the internet certainly does make the world a smaller place.

As a child growing up in Montana, son of a single mom, I often survived on deer meat that had been given to my mother by all her guy hunter friends in exchange for her butchering the carcass.

This is one of the many reasons hunting is still such a big deal, especially in rural areas. If my mother had had to chose between food and winter coats and the like (as she would have had to do, without that deer meat) things would have been even worse than they usually were.

This is why I get so ticked off when city dwelling Dopers who have never lived more than a few miles from a Trader Joes and never had to chose between paying the power bill or buying groceries sneer at hunting as some sort of “stupid hobby” or something.

Hey, how did I end up on this soapbox…?

Or not…gues it depends on your location and access to hunting land. If you have to pay for a hunting lease, by the time you add on the costs of license, gun, ammo, etc - you can buy a freezer full of beef much cheaper.

I was given some glass jars of home-canned venison, but it was so ugly looking I only accepted to be polite. (This stuff was from a remarkably filthy farm kitchen - the whole farm house was filthy, as a matter of fact But the deer was ‘harvested’ right in their back yard!). I would much have preferred frozen packages of venison that I could cook myself - I have a venison cookbook, but found you can’t go wrong with braising with onions, green peppers, onions, peppercorns, and maybe some bacon, a touch of red wine…I’m drifting away here, but good for you, for the fortitude to can all that meat. Venison can be some good eats.

If you are looking for something else to use that pressure canner on this time of year, turkey also cans well. It’s particularly cheap right now. I like to can the breast raw and boil the dark meat on the carcass. I add carrots, celery, onions, herbs, and what not to the water when I boil it so I end up with canned turkey and a huge pot of broth I can also can. I do add salt and broth to the turkey jars before I can them. One 12lb bird gave me 12 cups of meat and I canned 12 cups of broth as well.

I have a friend who cans quite a bit of her husband’s venison because she likes the texture and flavor of it better that way than frozen. It’s more work at the beginning but a lot less work to prepare a meal using that meat. It’s great for things like beef burritios, BBQ sandwiches, soup, etc.

BTW, hunting can be very cheap, but it can also be very expensive. I know very few hunters who go up and get an animal in a day. Most of them spend a week at it and not a small number will take a few weekends before hunting season opens to scout for good locations to hunt. (Deer camps are not common around here like they are in the southern and Appalachian states.) Several of them will go with their buddies to help them hunt even after they’ve got their animal. That’s a lot of time off work, a lot of gas, and a lot of camping equipment and food to get you through those days. That doesn’t count the cold weather clothing, the gas, or the weapons and ammo needed.

And in California, you can put years of all that time and money into it without getting a deer. I’ve got some canned too, and will do some more in a month or two. We’ve got a full freezer and I’d like to make room.

It is a lot of work; I sympathize. But remember how happy you’ll be when you want something for dinner fast and can pull out a jar of venison!

I have never encountered that attitude about hunting on the Dope. I think that people have become more understanding of hunting in the past 10 years as it has gone more mainstream. I haven’t heard snide comments about hunting from anyone except PETA types.

I always thought you should have a choice between sport hunting and subsistence hunting. Subsistence hunting would get you like 1 deer every 3 months around the calendar, the ability to take a goose a week without having it be in flight or how ever much game you need for eating, and a javalina every 3 months [or something like that depending on how many in your family] and the idiots who do the sport hunting have the old style bag and hunting rules.

It doesn’t seem fair to make people who need the food for subsistence to follow all the frickelty victorian era concept of sporting [like waterfowl needing to be in flight] when all they want to do is go out, bag dinner and go home.

Mmm. Love venison jerky! A couple guys I work with bagged several deer over the last deer season that they ran out of ways to process, so they made deer jerky and brought several bags full to the office. It was WONDERFUL.

I’ve never had canned venison but have eaten canned moose. A friend up north cans her moose in quart jars and her veggies from her garden (carrots, turnips etc) in another quart jar. She gave me one of each and said open them both up, heat together and serve. Instant stew! yummm

Now that you have the canner you can use it to save lots of money at the grocery store and lots of time at dinner.

I have canned pork spareribs with BBQ sauce and they come out great
Taco meat with onions peppers and seasonings
Sloppy Joe meat
Shrimp stock
Smoked salmon
Halibut (add a crab leg, for imitation crab)
Beef stew

The purchased meat I buy in bulk, I’ll cut a big sirloin roast into steaks and use the scrap for the canner. I can control the amount of fat in the meat and how much sodium I put in it to make flavorful “fast food” dinners.