Canning isn’t just a summer chore. Vegetables need to be canned before they go bad, so it has to be timely and right away in the summer. Winter Broth Canning can be done when you have a free weekend or day available. I have a new freezer, with a bottom drawer. I collect bones in zippered bags and when I get enough, I make broth. Might I even suggest post Thanksgiving Turkey sales for picking up a nice size piece of poultry? I grabbed an extra one after Thanksgiving this year. I sliced the meat from the bones, but not too close and placed the bones into bags – along with the giblets and wings. I have also been collecting chicken bones from roasts and lamb bones too. These go into separate bags and all of these bags were waiting for the right day for making broth. This weekend was my first real free weekend to do a project, but I was excited.
I’ve made small batches before and frozen them, but this time I canned them. We go through a lot of stock over the year, at 2 to 3 dollars a pint, it can get costly. Canning my own, saves a bunch, but also gives me a little pride. You need a pressure canner for the broth but if don’t have one of those you also have the option of freezing.
I take the bones and put them into a pot that is double the amount of the bones and materials you are using to make the broth. So the bones should only be about half way up the pot. Then pour enough water to cover the bones and fill in to three quarters of the way up the pot. I simmer the bones in water about 2 to 3 hours with a lid. The turkey simmered longer because the bones were not cooked before and the wing meat took a little longer to cook since it was raw.
Here’s the tricky part, because you need more pots and bowls. I have a strainer that I line with paper towels, and I pour the broth bones, and whatnot through the strainer little bits at a time. Then let the bones drip into the pot until it’s done or as good as it is going to get. The paper towels prevent the fat, bones, bits, etc from going into the broth. I don’t use paper towels for much, but this is one of the times I use them.
Then I cooled the soup. This is one of the reasons winter is good for broth making. We put the broth in a pot with a lid, put the pot in a cooler and the cooler out on the deck. For an extra precaution, my husband turned a bin snugly upside down over the cooler to prevent racoons from getting into it (or skunks). We actually left it outside over night. When it is cooled, you can easily skim any fat and grease from the top of the broth.
I wanted a decent clear broth, so I used a tea towel – or dish cloth (not a fuzzy one) over the strainer this time. I poured the soup through one more time into a pot to reheat the stock. This time we are reheating in order to can.
Follow your regular pressure canning process. Fill the jars with broth to an inch of the top, wipe down top edge with towel, put on lid that was heated with boiling water, use collar to hold lid down. Place jars in pressure canner filled with boiling water and proceed to follow directions for pressure canner. Don’t forget to label. I messed up and put 1/10 on the label instead of 1/11. Someone once suggested painter’s tape as a great label for canned items.
Winter projects, are really cool. Some of the summer canning has been used in the pantry making room for your new projects. And just so you don’t think all I know how to do is broth. I also canned some home made bean soup this past weekend. A nice bite for those work nights when you don’t want to cook. What’s on your winter kitchen project list?
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