A few weeks ago, I wrote about one of my grandmother’s favorite recipes, the lamb and sweet potato cottage pie. This time, I decided to pay homage to my grandfather with one of his famous recipes: canned pork.
I feel like grandparents are a real gold mine when I’m in need of ideas for an amazing new Paleo recipe. They grew up eating a lot more natural and healthy food than we do, and it wasn’t as toxic as most of today’s diet. When I look back at it now, I see how fast food has changed from my grandparents to me. They still had some problems with their diet, like with gluten consumption, but overall it was a lot better back then.
This is the kind of recipe I just love to prepare on a Sunday morning since it’s somewhat of a long process. It’s worth the time, as it gives you enough portions for many meals, or easy snacks every once in a while. It’s just so convenient to have some canned pork jars in your refrigerator when you don’t feel like cooking and simply want a quick snack. Canned pork can be part of an amazing breakfast too, just add some eggs or fresh fruit. Personally, I try to always have some in my refrigerator and it really is a lifesaver especially when in a hurry.
Canning food has been done for a long time, mainly because this method makes food available and edible much longer after the processing time. Some people might argue that canned food doesn’t have as many nutrients as its freshly cooked counterpart, but it’s been proven that this is not the case at all. A big problem with store-bought canned food is the high amount of salt and preservatives added, but since we’re doing it ourselves this won’t be a problem.
You’ll need some canning jars for this recipe. Canning jars are perfect for preserving food from the comfort of your house and they’ll last you a very long time. But you’ll need to verify the jars before each usage:
- Make sure the jars themselves have no chips or cracks. Otherwise, they could break during the cooking process. If the jars aren’t damaged, they’re safe to reuse.
- You’ll need to buy new lids every year, since the rubber seal on each lid weakens with the heat and may not form a proper seal on a second use. Lids should be new and never be used a second time.
- Check the rings: if they’ve rusted, they’ll need to be replaced as well.
- Make sure that each canning jar lid and ring fits the jar tightly to make a proper seal.
- Sterilize all the canning jars, seals and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes to prevent any contamination.
Once you have these items ready to go, you can start canning some delicious pork!
Canned Pork Recipe
- A big piece of pork shoulder (you can calculate approximately 1lb of raw pork per quart jar);
- 1 big onion, minced;
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste;
Cooking tools needed
- A water bath canner to sterilize the canning jars, rings, and lids;
- Jar lifter to remove the jars out of the hot steaming water;
- Canning jars;
- Rings for all jars;
- Lids for all jars;
- Cut the raw pork meat into ½ to 1 inch pieces and keep some of the fat. You’ll need enough fat in each jar; this fat melts into a jelly and will better preserve your meat.
- Season with sea salt and ground black pepper to taste. Also add some of the minced onion into each jar.
- Pack in the raw pork into the jars, leaving about 1 inch of head space at the top of the jar.
- Add more sea salt and black pepper to taste as well as onions on top of the pork. Cover with a piece of pork fat.
- Wipe the rims of each jar with a paper towel to remove any residue.
- Place the rubber lids and screw on the rings on each canning jar. Screw the rings tight enough so that water can’t spill into the jars.
- Place the jars filled with the pork mixture into the water bath and add water to cover all the jars.
- Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 3 hours at a rolling simmer.
- After 3 hours, remove the pot from the heat to let the water cool down somewhat.
- Remove the hot jars from the pot with the jar lifter, and place them on a cloth. Place a kitchen towel over them and let them completely cool down. Once they have cooled down, press each lid with a finger to ensure they have sealed. The lids should not move up or down at all.
- Write the date on each jar and store in a cool area or in the refrigerator.