With the weather having turned warm and my outside freezer having heated up it became necessary to start the refrigerator inside and move everything into the freezer. Once I realized how much ground meat I had I thought maybe I should do something with it. I don't want it to get freezer burnt! Hmm.... I had noticed a lot of canned beans in the pantry.... So, one thing led to another and I ended up deciding to make up a huge batch of chili and can it for meals later on. One thing I LOVE is ready to go meals! I'm trying to get away from the store bought canned foods so this also seemed like a good opportunity to use some of them up and empty my pantry a bit for all the canned goodies I plan on putting in there later this year. Maybe I am jumping the gun a bit but... oh well!
First off I gathered my ingredients. Well, the ingredients I thought I would use. What I really used is listed below in my recipe. Be warned! I really don't follow much of a recipe and make it differently every time based on what I have on hand. We also like things fairly spicy and even though I try to tone it down for everyone else... well... I like spicy. I think this recipe is fairly mild but you may want to adjust the spices etc to suit your tastes.
3 or 4 lbs ground meat
2 large onions, chopped
5 can's beans in tomato sauce
2 can's kidney beans
1 large can tomato's
1 can tomato soup (I wanted tomato sauce but was out and then remembered how I had used tomato soup once before and Mountain Man had raved about it.)
1 tablespoon Garlic powder
3 tablespoons Chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
I have one large pot which if I fill right to the top makes exactly 7 quarts which is what my canner holds. Pretty handy! So I just keep adding ingredients until I am up to that point and I know I have enough to fill my jars.
First I browned the meat.
Then added the onions and let it simmer for a while until they were softened.
Then I added all the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or so. I didn't have to cook it long as it will have plenty of time to do that in the pressure canner.
I then filled my sterilized jars and proceeded to can them. As you can see there aren't any more pictures. Why you may well ask? Well... I was just a bit to frustrated to take any! My canner decided it didn't want to cooperate! Everything had been done correctly but the pressure would not build and the canner wouldn't seal. Hmmm..... I cooled it off and checked the seal, the pressure gauge, all the little nooks and crannies.... nothing wrong! Lets try this again.... Vent for ten minutes.... place weight on vent.... wait for pressure canner to seal.... Wait some more in hopes that I am just a dufus and am too impatient..... Nope! Still will not build up pressure. Well! OK... it is a very old pressure canner and perhaps it needs a bit of an overhaul. New gauge, new seal.... What to do? Here I have 7 jars of chili ready to can and nothing will work..... Sigh......
Well, let me tell you. We are tired of chili for a little while! I did end up putting two of the jars in the freezer as we just could eat any more.
Also seen on the Nourishing Gourmet