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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Grandma’s Canned Sausage

By Joseph Parish

During the canning season I can often recall that my grandmother used to take and can sausage patties. She would take fresh made patties and stack them neatly inside a wide mouth jar and then fill the container full of hot sausage grease. She would then place the lids securely on them, turn them upside down to seal and she was done. How I remember going to the food closet and seeing dozens upon dozens of jars carefully stacked upside down. It seems that in those days it was customary to place the jars upside down to ensure a good seal.

Over the years as I grew up and investigated the art of canning on my own I discovered there are two major ways to can sausage. You can form and bake the patties until they are firm similar to the way my grandmother did it or you can fry the sausage up and let it crumble and then fill your jars up.

With the second way you would fry some of the sausage until it started to separate into small pieces and then can these pieces for use in gravies or casseroles. Here are some tips to follow when attempting this on your own.

You should omit any use of sage from your recipe if you decide to mix your own sausage. When canning your sausage the sage will tend to make it taste bitter. I generally use very little herbs and spices in my mix and that also includes the use of my favorites such as garlic or onions as they will actually become stronger tasting when your product is canned. Instead you could use a little bit of hot red pepper, salt, black pepper, some thyme or perhaps a bit of marjoram to season the sausage that you plan to can.

When selecting the meat make certain to choose 2/3 of lean meat to about 1/3 fat in order to make the best canned sausage that you can. You would can your sausage in the same manner as you would ground meat except that you will make small patties and cook it until it’s very well done.

Unlike ground beef you can use the fat from cooking the sausage to actual can it in. Be certain not to fill the jar too full, 2/3 full is plenty enough for it. Pour the grease in and make sure that it covers the sausages. You may wish to melt some extra lard to use for covering the sausages in the jar. Keep the lard or grease very hot while it is waiting to be poured into the jar.

Lastly, you will want to adjust the lids onto the jars and place then into a pressure canner set for 10 pounds of pressure. For pint jars cook for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes.

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish

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