Thursday, October 25, 2012

Beef Jerky

We made 2 four pound batches of jerky in the oven.  I still haven't used the smoker.  Husband and the Bigs were happy with both, although I think they like the first one better.
 Ingredients #1

4 pounds beef flank, cut into thin strips
 1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp molasses
 2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
 Ingredients #2

4 lbs beef flank, cut into thin strips
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup soy sauce
Instructions are the same for both:

Trim all fat off the meat and cut into thin strips.

Mix all ingredients. Pour over beef strips in a large bowl. Mix until all of the meat is evenly coated. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Lay out beef strips on rack.  Place in oven.  Bake @ 180°F, or lowest setting, 6 hours.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Crabapple Catsup

So, my adventures in crab apples started me thinking about catsup. I've made catsup before, and even have a couple of recipes that will suffice in a TEOTWAWKI  situation.  That is to say, they're edible, and without a better alternative, I guess I could get used to them, though truthfully, I don't really like them.

One of the issues I had, was that they're too runny, and taste too much like vinegar.  Reading that the crabapple pomace could be used for catsup made me wonder, where's the recipe?  The pomace itself is thick and sour, without the vinegar taste.  I think it could make a good catsup base.  So I started searching, and found a very basic recipe, as follows.

Crab-apple catsup  

Obviously an old recipe, and of course it's not going to taste quite like store bought.  I have a very boring palate.  But maybe I could combine the crabapples with a tomato catsup recipe.  I looked up a couple for reference.

Amish Tomato Ketchup Recipe 
 Tomato Ketchup Recipe

 And then, since playing with the ingredient list worked out pretty well for my cucumber relish, I thought I'd grab the ketchup bottle out of the fridge too.

tomato paste, water, glucose, vinegar, salt, spices (soybean oil, celery)

So why not just play and tweak the recipe until it resembles something like store bought ketchup?  Because I don't live in the banana belt.  Crabapples seem to be able to handle the cold, while tomatoes are kind of hit and miss with a lot of babying and prodding along the way.  Boiling down the few tomatoes I get each year to a paste just seems like such a waste, especially if I can substitute some crabapple pulp, which is abundant.  So, I started with the Crababble Catsup recipe (which tastes pretty good on it's own)  and then added tomato ketchup ingredients, tasting as I went.  It's pretty good, if I do say so myself!

Crabapple-Tomato Catsup

 10 cups crabapple pomace
 2 cup sugar 
 2 tsp pepper
 2 cloves garlic
 2 tsp of cinnamon
1 onion, puréed
2 tablespoons salt 
1 cup vinegar

20 cups (or the rest of the pot) tomatoes, puréed
1/2 Tablespoon allspice
1/2 Tablespoon whole cloves
1/2 Tablespoon celery seeds
 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

 Combine all ingredients.  Boil. Reduce heat and simmer until desired consistency.  Return to boil.  Pour into sterile jars leaving 1/8" of head space. Process in a boiling water bath 15 minutes.

 The only concern I have is that I'm not sure how long it will keep in the fridge.  Smaller jars might be more appropriate.

I just finished off the last of the ripe tomatoes with the second batch of this recipe, when Mom and Dad brought me over another 2 bags of green tomatoes.  I think I could have done pasta sauce this year after all.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cream of Mushroom Soup

 Since the cream of celery soup was a hit, mushrooms were on the cheap rack at the grocery store, and Monday was Thanksgiving- turkey bones are waiting for processing- I thought I should give cream of mushroom a try.

Cream of Mushroom Soup
Mine is essentially turkey stock with mushrooms and salt.  I left out the clearjel- I only use cream of mushroom soup in rice, where it's the flavour I want, not the thickness.  I also left out the lemon juice, because I believe it's there to keep the mushrooms from becoming discloloured.  I don't much care what colour they end up, so long as they taste good.

1/3 cup butter
1 pound mushrooms, chopped or sliced
4 quarts meat stock
2 T. salt

Melt butter. Add mushrooms and cook until browned.
Heat meat stock in stock pot.  Add mushrooms and salt.  Bring to boil.
Put in jars and process in pressure canner for 45 minutes at 10 lb.pressure.
When opening to use, add equal amount of milk and soup.

Another shelf stable product to scratch off my grocery list.  I wonder what else I can use turkey stock for...

Meat Stock

Meat Stock

Roast meat on the bone- turkey, beef, chicken etc.  Enjoy your meal.

Put all bones, skin, fat, drippings, etc, in stock pot.  Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic.

Add spices.
For beef- rosemary, parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns.
For turkey/chicken- sage, rosemary, thyme, a bay leaf, poultry seasoning, paprika.

Add water to cover all.

Bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 8 hours or so, until meat falls off the bone and it smells really good.  Larger quantities require more time.

Strain out the liquid.  Return to stove.  Continue simmering uncovered to reduce volume.

Taste test periodically.  The flavour will become more concentrated as it reduces.

Can or freeze at soup stage in suitable quantities.  Process pints 20 minutes/quarts 25 minutes @ 10 lbs pressure.

Continue reducing to create bouillon cubes.  Freeze in ice cube trays.

Monday, October 8, 2012



40 lemons
water to cover
1 cup sugar for every 4 cups liquid

About halfway through juicing the lemons I started wondering why I was farting around with all of these steps.  When I made the citrus concentrate, I put the peels back in the reserve water, to try to loosen up more juice.  Then I used all of the reserved water.  I quit juicing the lemons, cut them all in half, gave each a quick squeeze, then tossed it all back into the reserved water. 
Poured in the lemon zest that I had previously peeled, and I put it back on the stove to boil for 10 minutes.
I strained out the liquid from the lemon peels, for 20 cups of liquid.  I added 5 cups of sugar, and boiled the juice again to dissolve. 

It's a little too much zest, but drinkable.  Next time, I'll try the same method, but peel and discard the zest from about half the lemons.

Grape Juice

Grapes were on sale this week for 88/lb, so I had to try Canning Granny's grape juice recipe. If this works, I'll try it with blueberries next year as well.

Grape Juice
Sterilize jars.  Boil a pot of water.  Heat water bath.  Wash grapes. 

In each quart jar, put 1 cup of grapes and 1/2 cup sugar.  Cover with boiled water.  Place lids, and swirl each jar to dissolve sugar.

Process in BWB 20 minutes.

Wait 2 months.  Strain grapes.  Drink juice.