Monday, February 18, 2013

The Beginning of Another Canning Year


Canning Rabbit


Fall is such a busy time of the year for us with getting the gardens ready for winter and picking the last of the produce and storing.This is immediately followed by the busy holiday season and we fell behind. We still have  plenty of work to do catching up with the canning chores. There was frozen pork fat to be rendered into lard, pork to grind into sausage and bacon to be cured and smoked. All this was frozen in the freezer and awaiting it's turn. Not to mention the walnuts and pecans to be cracked,  shelled and frozen. And rabbits that had been butchered and frozen. I had taken a couple weeks to catch up on some sewing and needed to get back to canning.   



So in an effort to catch up with some of this frozen meat chores I took out some rabbit meat to can in jars. O Wise one had already soaked it out in salt water, cut it into chunks and deboned it prior to freezing it.  So all I had to do was defrost it and cut the pieces smaller, more like bite size pieces.  


Once they were cut smaller I put them back in a salt water solution in the fridge overnight. 


I had also found a bag of smoked turkey bones frozen. A leftover from Thanksgiving. These were just patiently waiting to be turned into broth. So I put the turkey bones in a pot of water with some spices and cooked down a nice smoked turkey broth. Rabbit bones make a great broth if you saved them from the rabbit. Cook them down just as you would chicken or turkey bones. 


This was cooled and placed in a large bowl in the fridge overnight also to allow any fat to come to the top and harden, later to be skimmed off and fed to the dogs on top of their dog food.  


The next morning the rabbit chunks were placed in about half a large pot of boiling water for about 3 minutes. You want the chunks about 2/3 cooked with the inside still just pink.


Then the rabbit chunks were drained in a colander.  


The broth from where the rabbit chunks were cooked is then skimmed (there will be a scum on top) and then strained through cheese cloth and added to the turkey broth. I put my rabbit chunks on a cookie sheet and kept them covered in a warm oven covered with aluminum foil until my broth was strained and heated back up.  


Then I placed the cooked rabbit chunks into hot quart jars. I like about 1/2 meat and half broth. 


Then ladled my turkey/rabbit broth combination over the top of the meat Leaving 1 1/4 inch head space.


Remove air bubbles.


Wipe rims clean


Place hot lids on hot clean jar rims and adjust two piece caps. Finger tighten only.  
(That second jar that is darker is a jar of smoked turkey meat that I got off those bones)


Place hot jars in hot pressure canner


I processed my quarts for 90 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. 


I now have 7 quart jars of rabbit meat to use just like chicken meat in soups, pot pies ,casseroles, noodles or any  recipe that would call for canned chicken. 


And another 7 jars of  broth to be used just like chicken or turkey. A mixture of smoked turkey and rabbit it is rich with a mild smoky flavor that would be great in gumbos and noodles. 

Maybe I'll call it Turbit Broth : )

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

13 comments:

  1. I remember as a child how careful I must be to get those rims clean and I've never forgotten how important that is. That was my job before I could do much to help.

    Beautiful product.

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  2. Yum! This looks delicious!

    I have a question. My stove is propane. I have an extremely difficult time regulating my cooking temperature so taht my pressure stays exactly where I want it. I end up over processing my canned goods because of this. (I'd rather over do than under!) Do you have any suggestions on getting my canner up to pressure and holding it there without letting it fluctuate?

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    Replies
    1. I also have a propane stove. The way that works for me is to bring the temperature up a little slower and as soon as it hit 10 pounds I start adjusting it downward in very small increments. I have a superburner and if I don't watch it really closely it is easy to over process on mine as well. Every stove is different.

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    2. Okay. I must just be making my adjustments in too large of increments. Hopefully I will get it right soon. Thanks for your advice. :-)

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    3. Could you not use a flame tamer/flame defuser?

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  3. Wow! Look at all that rabbit. We love rabbit, but unfortunately I think we have too many fox around. We've only seen 1 rabbit in the 2 years we've been here!

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    Replies
    1. These are domestic rabbits although O Wise One does enjoy a good rabbit hunt from time to time!

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  4. Why do you like so much broth with your meat?

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    Replies
    1. The way I am using this meat usually requires a broth for gravy, or soup and I just like putting the two together!

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  5. I adore your blog and look forward to each post. I love all the frugal little ways you supply your home. Who'd have thought that you didn't have to go down and buy a dish towel from the store, LOL? I just never thought of making them from the right material, and ending up with something I actually LIKED!! Yours turned out so sweetly.
    One question about the canned broth: if you are going to process it anyway for a long period of time, why bother to cook the meat ahead of time? Why not just put it into jars raw?
    Keep up the industrious work. there are many younger homestead mamas who love to follow in your footsteps and keep the frugal traditions going, and we need your ideas and examples! :)

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    Replies
    1. Many meats can be processed raw and I have done chicken, turkey and venison cold pack. When you cook rabbit however, no matter how long you soak it in salt when it is cooked it produces a white film or scum on the top of the broth. I prefer to cook the rabbit in a pot and skim that white scum off and feed it to the dogs. That way when I can the meat I just have pretty white meat and rich broth. I don't think the scum hurts anything but without the scum just looks better.

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  6. Another fantastic post, so helpful for someone considering meat rabbits especially.

    Thank you for all you do on this blog! I hope you know how much you are appreciated for your effort and kindness in sharing your knowledge ;)

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    Replies
    1. Well in true southern fashion " Bless your heart"

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