Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hamburger Rocks and Canning Apples

I tried something new this week - dehydrating hamburger. Not only have I not done this before, but I had never even heard of this being done!
I came across an article with instructions, and thought 
"What a great idea!"

Our family was given 1/2 a deer on Saturday, so I was determined to try my hand at this. 
Sunday, Colton processed the meat, placed it in a big pot full of salt water to soak overnight.
Monday morning I started in on the meat.

I kept a couple roasts, but the rest I ground into hamburger.

I had 13lbs of ground meat.
Brown the meat

When no pink remains, drain the grease, and rinse meat thoroughly to rinse any leftover grease off. Grease will go rancid, ruining the meat.
Place back in the pan, heating on a lower setting to steam off the water. At this point, add your spices, if you choose. I added salt, pepper, and onion powder.
Spoon onto drying racks. I have never used the fruit leather sheets that came with my dehydrator, but I'm glad I kept them! I used these to keep the smaller pieces of meat from falling through the holes in the trays.

I don't have enough sheets for all my trays, so I took the rest of the trays out.

I set the dial to 145 degrees, and left them in there for about 16 hours.
And this is the finished product!
 I did about half of the meat on Monday, and, dried, it filled one 1/2 gallon jar, and almost 1/2 of another.
This will keep for years on the shelf.
To rehydrate, add 2 cups of boiling water to one cup meat. Let sit for 15-30 minutes, until the meat soaks up the water.
This meat can be used in any dish that you would normally put ground meat in.

Meanwhile, while I was preparing the meat, Cheyenne and Delanie were coring, peeling, and slicing apples to can.

After slicing, the apples went into cold water, with lemon juice added to keep them from browning.

Blanch the apples by adding them (about 8 cups at a time) to boiling water and letting them boil for about 5 minutes.
After this step, I put them in a pot in a slow oven to keep them hot until I'm done blanching all the apples.

Then I can them. I prefer canning plain apples, instead of apple pie filling. This way, I can use them throughout the year in recipes other than pie.

Oh, and I also finished dehydrating the last of our cayenne peppers.
Aren't they pretty?