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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Home Canning Defatted Meat Stocks

As the time approached for the arrival of our beef on the hoof purchase, I transferred what I could from the large chest freezer to the smaller chest freezer and the freezer compartments of both refrigerators.  A common trick many home canners use when needing freezer space is can anything possible.  Rather than continuing to store the remaining two packages of beef soup bones, a package of chicken bones, and a litre container of uncooked crushed tomatoes, I decided to can them up. 

using a gravy separator to defat chicken stock
I spent two canning sessions canning meat stocks which actually ended up in three canning sessions due to seal failures on three jars.  I always defat my meat stocks because it results in a low fat stock that looks nice in the jars.  The fat and skin is left in the stock when making it because it adds flavour.  Stock making is usually a two day process when defatting as allowing the stock to cool completely makes it rather easy to simply lift the fat off the surface of the stock.

Chicken fat does not harden like beef fat does.  So I came up with an easier method for defatting the chicken stock.  I strained the hot stock then poured it into the gravy separator and let is settle.  Then I slowly poured the stock into the jars and repeated the process until all the jars were filled.  This worked so nicely that I might eliminate the cooling period for other meat stocks.

home canned defatted beef, tomato beef and chicken stocks
Pictured is the stock I made during the first canning session. I make tomato beef stock (far right), beef stock (middle) and chicken stock (far left).   The following session I made tomato beef stock and beef stock.  The total number of jars for the two canning sessions was 27: tomato beef stock (9), chicken (6), beef 12).  Of the total jars, one chicken and two beef did not seal.  Notice I used mainly Tattler reusable lids on the jars in this batch and all Tattlers for the second batch.  The following day, I reheated the stock in the jars that did not seal and reprocessed.  Of those three jars, two did not seal meaning my technique with Tattlers is off just slightly.   The method has been updated to tighten finger tight rather than tight with a quarter inch turn back.  I was still using a box of Tattlers from my first purchase not realizing that the method had been revised until my new shipment came in.

I put those two cooled jars into the freezer rather than process for a third time.  I could have reprocessed them but I seldom reprocess jars with seal failures as I don't like to run the pressure canner unless at least half full.  Besides, I was pressed for with the blind installers coming out and the kids arriving the same day.  I could have put them in the refrigerator to use within the next few days but we already had plans so freezing was the best option.

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