Thursday, August 21, 2014

Adventures in Canning: Chili...

without beans.

I'll add beans later before serving.  I didn't want to mess with dried beans and I was afraid canned beans would turn to mush after processing for 80 minutes.

This is not intended as a discussion on how to make authentic chili.  There are as many different chilis as there are chili makers.

Sometime I make it with big chunks of stew meat, no beans, and add things like beer.  Other times I make it with ground beef, pinto and kidney beans, with a few healthy splashes of burgundy wine.

One thing I always use is a ton of chili powder, cumin, garlic, and parsley.  When I see a recipe using 5 lbs of ground beef, six cups of tomatoes, and two tablespoons of chili powder like I did earlier today, it moves me to say, "That's just wrong!"  Good heavens.  Two tablespoons of chili powder for a huge pot of chili? 

Today's chili?

The ingredients:

Banana and jalapeno peppers from the garden, celery, onion.

San Marzano tomatoes from the garden, supplemented with a few cans of chopped tomatoes.

I used about 6 lbs of ground beef from Costco.  It was $3.49 per pound which is a very good value because the Costco ground beef is only about 9% fat.

I softened the chopped celery and the onion pepper mixture just a bit in a saute pan and dumped it in a big pot to join the tomatoes which had been peeled, cored, and chopped.  I browned the ground beef to a pink color and added it to the pot.

I put it on the stove to simmer and added the spices. 

I can't tell you how much of anything to put in chili.  Your chili and tastes are not going to be the same as mine.  We like spicy.  You may not.  Just add and taste until you get the flavor you want.

I do like to add a bit of Kitchen Bouquet Browning and Seasoning Sauce to deepen the color and today's batch had a nice big splash of burgundy wine.

I added it hot to pint jars and processed it for 80 minutes at 13 lbs pressure.

If you are new to canning, please follow the recommendations for your altitude.  Also, even if your canner is new, have the gauge checked.  My new canner gauge registered one pound low, so I have to add one pound pressure for my altitude and another pound to make up the lower readings.  Your local extension office can test your canner gauge.



Eleven pints of chili for the pantry.  And all eleven have already tested positive for a seal.  Yay!

I used the left over tomatoes, celery, and onions to make some pizza sauce.  After cooking it down and adding traditional Italian seasoning (including a healthy dose of home grown fresh basil), I put it in 1/2 pint freezer safe mason jars to place in my newly organized freezer.

I left out a bit of chili for dinner as well as two chunks of ground beef for burgers on the grill.


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