Every year we buy a quarter of a cow from a farmer friend of ours, which comes up to about 100 lbs of meat. It usually keeps our family of 6 stocked for around 10 months. Initially we store all of that beef in a large deep freezer, but as the seasons progress I need that freezer space to begin storing strawberries, blueberries, peaches, tomatoes, corn, and other crops I like to freeze throughout the year. So, during the winter months I work my way through the freezer, canning most of that beef to preserve it long term.
We prefer to get more ground beef than anything because it’s so versatile. It’s also really easy to can. I love using canned ground beef for tacos, spaghetti and other pasta dishes, sloppy joes, casseroles– basically any meal that requires browned ground beef is perfect. Canning it beforehand really saves on cooking time. Plus, it requires no electricity to keep it preserved until I’m ready to use it.
Here’s how to can ground beef, according to the directions in Jackie Clay’s book, Growing and Canning Your Own Food: