Monday, May 3, 2010

How To Pressure Can Soup, Meatballs, and Beans

(for a video demonstration using a weighted-gauge canner AND a dial-gauge canner, see this post: How To Pressure Can Beans)

I had a busy day a few weeks ago. Someone gifted me a pressure canner and we borrowed another one - so we were really cookin'! I made vegetable beef soup, seasoned black beans, white beans, and meat balls. Everything turned out really nice; I am so thankful. I gave quite a few directions in my last post about pressure canning titled "Pressure Canning Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup", so I will not repeat myself here.

Seasoned Black Beans to pressure can: Into each quart jar = 2T dried onion flakes, 1t dried garlic, 1t salt, a few dried avocado leaves. Fill with 1 1/4c dry, washed black beans. Top with cold water, pressure can for 90 minutes at 11lbs (adjust for altitude). Let the canner cool ALL THE WAY to zero before you open it. Not only does this prevent a horrible accident, it also keeps the lids from leaking and not sealing properly. Place your jars on towels and let them cool over night. We like to have these beans over rice. A sister here at the church told me about using avocado leaves in the beans - we like this a lot. Just remove the leaves before you eat the beans :)
If you do not have avocado leaves available, use oregano instead. It is not the same flavor, but it still tastes good.
Use any bean and flavoring you prefer and 1t of salt; here are a few more ideas: Kidney beans with chili-type seasonings, lentils with italian seasonings, garbanzo beans with humus-type seasonings, lentils with indian-type seasoning to mimic dal, pinto beans with taco seasonings, or whatever. Have fun experimenting ... I am actually hoping to make up a little cookbook with some of these recipes in it. We'll see how long that takes me. haha.

We have a LOT of free meat. I asked a friend if she had any ideas on what I could do with some of it, and she suggested making meat balls (thank you Rachel!). They turned out so yummy. We used the recipe she gave us, but added a few things to it; any basic meat ball recipe will do. Mix up your meat, form into balls, brown slightly on all sides, put into jars, and pressure can for 90 minutes at 11lbs pressure. Tylor did most of the work for the meat balls ... I am very thankful for that. We liked them so much we plan to do some more soon. We've been eating them with spaghetti, and also with cabbage, rice and potatoes.
Update ... we butchered another cow and got a lot more free meat. We mixed up about 40lbs of meat ball mix and the huge pile of meat overwhelmed me!! I knew we were going to be standing there all day making little balls of meat. So to save A LOT of time, we just shoved meat into each jar and canned them like that ... sort of like meat loaf in a jar. It worked just fine.

In the pictures below you will see us browning the balls ... you can skip this step and still have great results; just don't pack the balls in so tight.

Here's a picture of the vegetable beef soup; this is so nice to have on hand for lunches on the go ... just pack a few plastic cups and spoons and we're all set. It tastes all right cold, but better hot. I make it stretch by adding rice or pasta.

And the white beans. We like to use these as a base for country gravy - just dump the whole thing into the blender and add some seasonings ... and there you have your white gravy. Simple. Yummy. Cheap. Nutritious. Serve over biscuits or pasta.


  1. you are such a virtuous woman!!

  2. Hello Joanne :) Thanks for stopping by my blog :)
    Oh I am going to try canning the meatballs :)

  3. Hello Renee' - so glad you stopped by here as well :)

    Someone asked me if I put water or any other liquid in the jar before canning the meatballs ... NO! Just put them in there as they are, add the lid and ring, and then can them. If you do it, let me know how they turn out.

    Lord bless, js

  4. GREAT! Thanks, Now I need to get me a pressure canner :) then i will be screaming for you lol

  5. I love what your profile has to say. "with all our hearts" is the only way.
    I’ve enjoyed looking over your blog. I came across it through another blog I follow, and I’m glad I did. I am now a follower of yours as well. Feel free to look over my blog and perhaps become one as well

  6. Hi Joanne! It's Shelly. I just wanted you to know that your meatballs look yummy. I always thought that you had fry meatballs. I didn't know you baked them. Ha!

  7. Hello Shelly - The meat balls are not baked, they are pressure canned :)
    They taste really good - I am so thankful for them. We'll probably make more soon.

    Covnitkepr - I'll check out your blog soon, thank you for stopping by my blog!!

    Renee - Make sure to check thrift stores, craigslist, garage sales and real estate auctions / estate sales for USED canners. Often times you can find one with a little patience. They are very expensive new. I got mine for free, however a sister here at the church picked hers up for $40 at a sale of some sort. A sister at another church got a really nice one at an auction for a great price too (probably less than $40). I bought one a long time ago for $4 at a yard sale, however at that time I did not know what to do with it and something was not right ... so I got rid of it. I regret it now, but I cannot turn back time!

    Lord bless you all, js

  8. Your canning looks fabulous. I haven't pressure canned before, but my dear mother-in-law is giving me her pressure canner as she doesn't use it any more. So I am looking for guidance recipes. Your black beans look yummy. Where do you get avacado leaves?

  9. Elizabeth - I got the avocado leaves from a sister here at church that lived in Mexico for 5 years ... they had an avocado tree in their yard and she thought to bring several sacks of leaves back with her to the states. I have seen them in Mexican grocery stores, but I'm not sure of the cost.

    Just having plain canned beans on hand is so nice. I have kidney, garbanzo and great northern canned in just water and salt - it's so nice to just be able to open a can of beans that you did not pay a crazy amount for!! We have beans nearly every day in some form or another.

    Pressure canning, like cheese, is easier to do than what you think. It's especially convenient when you have two canners :)

    In Christ, js

  10. The meatballs I make have parmesan cheese in them. Can I can meatballs with cheese in them?

  11. Hello Karen! I don't see why a little bit of parmesan cheese would hurt. I know of people who can cheese, butter, milk, etc. and never have an issue, so it seems a little bit of parmesan cheese inside of meat would do fine. BUT of course I cannot guarantee anything ... all I can say is I'd try it myself :)


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