I’ve canned a whole lot of wild meat: elk, deer, and moose. Basically, you can it up just like you do beef. The times and pressures are the same, which is 75 minutes for pints at 10 pounds pressure and 90 minutes for quarts. I have canned lots of meat raw, but have found that you get more meat in a jar and it ends up more tender if you precook it first. I can up much of my meat as “stew meat,” as you can use it in so many different recipes. It can also easily be shredded for such recipes as barbecued beef and fajita meat.
To do this, I use my huge cast iron frying pan on the wood range, and with minimal shortening I begin frying up the first batch of stew meat. While this cooks, I am also slicing slabs of meat and dicing it up in small pieces. Stirring the cooking meat once in a while, until it begins browning, I continue to make piles of stew meat. Once the first pan of meat has cooked, I add water to cover and perhaps some powdered beef soup stock powder.
When the meat has simmered a few minutes, I dump the works in a big pot, add a little fresh grease to the frying pan, and start frying down the next batch. This goes on until the pot holds about all my canner will process in one batch. (My huge old canner will do 9 quarts and 22 pints at one load.)
I reheat the pot of meat until it is all hot, then dip out the meat and pack it into my jars to within an inch of the top, ladling out enough of the broth to just cover it. The jars are then sealed and processed.
While this is going on, I prepare the next batch. Steaks and roasts are done by cutting the meat into pieces half an inch or one inch thick that will slide into wide-mouth jars. These are browned lightly and water and/or broth made with beef stock added as with the stewing meat.
You can raw pack your meat as well, but as I’ve said, it really isn’t faster as you must heat the jars of meat after they are packed, before you process it. And it seems a little more tough than the meat you precook and pack in liquid. But, here’s how you do it.
Pack the cold (not frozen) raw meat loosely in wide-mouth jars for roasts and steaks; regular jars for stewing meat. Leave the jars open and place in a pot of hot water so that the boiling water cannot boil up into the jars of meat. Boil this pot until the meat reaches 170°F in the center of the most densely packed jar. Then add a tsp. of salt to the quarts and a ½ tsp. to the pints and seal the jars. Do not add liquid. Process quarts for 90 minutes and pints for 75 minutes. This method is not advised by experts because folks have “cheated” and not used a thermometer and processed raw meat that was not hot enough, ending up with bad food.