I have posted a number of times about my love of canning. Here I talked about canning jam, Here I taught zucchini relish and here I came up with my own version of Blackberry-Lemon Marmalade. I also do pressure canning of vegetables and meat. I just submitted a guest post to rurallivingonline.com that is all about canning meat. I will let you know when it is published. In the meantime, I wanted to share with you a favorite stew that we love around here that uses many of the home canned products from my pantry. One of the nice things about canning is that no matter if I forgot to defrost something, or if I have no money to go to the store that week, or if there is a blizzard that keeps me from getting out of the house, (in Phoenix, no less), or if there is a truck strike and the store shelves are bare, I have food in my pantry to feed my family. This recipe is particularly delicious, and no one ever complains when I serve it.
There are two versions of this recipe. One for canned meat that I make in the Crock Pot, and one using fresh meat that you bake in the oven. My mother sent me the oven version when I was a poor, starving college student. I later adapted it to the Crock Pot version when I needed a good recipe to use with canned food for a canning class I was teaching. A great thing about using canned ingredients is that the cooking time is much shorter than other stews that are made with all fresh ingredients. So, when you are shorter on time, this is a good go to recipe.
Here are the ingredients I used: A can of pork chunks, (You may use beef or chicken as well. I usually prefer beef, but I needed to use pork in the rotation of my food storage.) A can of potatoes, a can of green beans (store can) A can of carrots, a package of Lipton Onion Soup (a great staple for the pantry) and not shown, a can of Cream of Mushroom soup.
Crock Pot Pantry Stew
1 quart jar of stew meat, beef, pork or chicken
1 pint jar of carrots, drained
1 quart jar of potatoes
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 can string beans or whole kernel corn, not drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can water
Spray theCrock Pot with cooking spray and set it on the low temp. setting. Put the meat in the bottom of the crock and sprinkle the onion mix over it. Add the carrots, potatoes and green beans with liquid. Top that with the condensed soup. Kind of spread the soup over the top of the beans. Pour the water over everything. Do not stir, leave it in layers and set on low to cook for about 2 hours. If you want it to go faster, set it on high.
When the stew is nice and bubbly hot, stir it all together and serve it with a slice of crusty bread.
Oven Stew Version
You can layer it the same way in a dutch oven or casserole dish, except instead of canned meat you can use 1 lb. of fresh, uncooked stew meat, 3 to 4 fresh carrots, sliced and 3 to 4 potatoes, cut in cubes. Cover with the lid or with foil and put in a 275 degree oven for 4 hours, or a 350 degree oven for 3 hours. Take it out and stir all together as described above.
You can use raw meat in the Crock Pot version as well, but you will need to cook it longer, probably about 6 to 7 hours if using fresh ingredients.
The great thing about this recipe is that it makes a bunch of stew! If a lot of people are coming over, you can add more potatoes or carrots to extend it.
Many people ask why I don't just can the stew already made.
There are a couple of reasons.
First, each of the ingredients needs to be processed under pressure for different lengths of time. Meat in a quart jar needs to be processed for 90 minutes. That means the other ingredients, which have a shorter processing time, would become too mushy.
Second, I like to have the individual ingredients available for many different recipes. By canning them separately, I can have more versatility with my ingredients.
I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!