Ham is LOW ACID and must be pressure canned. Be safe and Be sanitary.
Ham was on sale this week $1.27 /lb. Still not as good as the sale prices on major holidays but not bad at all. Truthfully it was one of the few edible items worth buying this week.
I selected the bigger of the two (10 lbs) and decided I wanted to try something a little different.
I dug my cutters out of the drawer and found one that fit the inside of the 1 pint wide mouth. I wanted to do sliced rounds a little short of an inch. Since they shrink a bit after canning I figure a round would be good on a biscuit or under a poached egg for eggs benedict.
First I washed the canner, the utensils, the lids and caps and washed the jars and filled them with hot water.
Next I filled the canner to the 2nd water line and added a splash of vinegar.
Next you line up your utensils and rack with towel on it. Some people just lay a big towel on the counter - that is fine too.
Then I rest the jars in the water and turn it to medium and cover (not close) the lid.
While the water is reaching temperature I start trimming the ham. I did NOT cook the ham this is simply my preference because I feel the pressure canning process is sufficient enough. I take care to cut out the rounds where I can and trim off as much fat and gristle as I can.
I cut the bottomout first to determine where the bone is.
I broke the ham down into 3 different ways:
sliced rounds - sandwhiches
long slices - stirfry or sautes
chunks - salads, fried rice or with crackers
This cut did not have much waste. It was just a small cereal bowl full of waste. I reserved the skin and bone for broth.
Once the meat is prepared start the broth.
I just covered the meaty part of the bone with filtered water and added a touch of pepper a few slivers of onion and a stalk of celery. I let that boil hard for at least 20 minutes
Once the broth looked like it had reached a good colorful level I started removing the jars from the canner. And poured it onto the lids and caps.
Then I lined up the hot empty jars on the towel.
I started with the sliced rounds, then moved to the slices and then finally the chunks. I did it in this order because if there is additional space you can use the chunks to fill them.
Meats should go to the 1 inch mark.
Once filled I put a pinch of red hot chili flakes and parsley on the top of each pile. That is for both color and flavor.
I slowly ladled broth onto each bottle 1 ladle at a time.
The sliced rounds are very snug. So I used a narrow chopstick to move the meat and burp the bubbles. You will have to lift it slightly to get the air out from in between the rounds.
The sliced ham and chopped ham could be burped with a mini spatula. Once you have burped it make sure that you cover it with liquid to the 1 inch mark.
Due to the fat content I made sure to wipe it THRICE rinsing the towel every 2nd bottle.
Use the magnetic lifter to pick up the lids. Line it up with the mouth of the jar.
I hold the lid down while i put on the cap.
Tighten it finger-tight.
Carefully place them in the canner.
Close the lid centering the arrows.
Turn the heat to high.
Once the nipple pops vent for 10 minutes.
After venting pop the weight on - if you use a gauged pressure canner just wait for your pressure to hit 11 (or whatever is suggested for your residential altitude) and start timing
Pints: 75 minutes
Quarts: 90 minutes
Start the timer from the point it starts JIGGLING/DANCING. I leave my stove on high heat, but some people turn it down just enough to maintain the jiggle. I don't, I won't play Russian roulette with food poisoning yanno?
Once the time is up turn off the heat and wait for the nipple to deflate. Do not touch the weight (jiggler). Do not touch the nipple. Be patient you will know once it stops.
Be careful, it's super hot!
I know I overcooked mine a bit because I fell asleep while it was venting. But it didn't dry out - The next morning I removed the caps and scrubbed down the lids and bottles. I must admit these are some of the better seals I've had.
Canning Ham made me very nervous and I was watching it and listening for strange noises but they came out all right.
10 lbs made a tightly stuffed 8 pints.
Once everything is dry I label everything and date it. I even put ham rounds, ham sliced, ham chunks - so if I have to send Mr.Man to the food room then he will know what to get!
It's just easier that way.
I will do the 8 pound ham tomorrow as well as some ham broth for soups.
Keep it Poppin' Keep it Choppin!