Pressure Canning

Pressure Canning Pork Stock

I will gladly admit that this recipe can be filed under that special category of experimental.  The technique is tried and true and follows the standards for safe canning set out by the National Center for Home Food Preservation – it`s the taste that will be subject to further scrutiny.

We hosted a small gathering of friends and family on Saturday night and cooked my best rendition on Southern BBQ – including baked beans with pork.  The beans were very meaty and featured some lovely chunks of smoked pork hocks that had been quickly cooked off in a pressure cooker (I prefer to simmer them long and slow but I didn`t want to serve beans at the witching hour).

I roughly chopped chunks of meat off the hocks and had a large discard pile of bones, skin and a fair bit of pork left.  It all went back into the pot, topped with water and simmered for a few more hours.  From there we put it on the fire escape to cool overnight which allowed an easier removal of the majority of the fat (hocks are very fatty) and we removed all remaining solids other than pieces of meat.

The stock and meat were both reheated and placed in hot jars before processing for 90 minutes of steam in the pressure cooker.  There is no way to preserved stock like this with a hot water bath.

Smoked pork hocks are full of flavor.  The broth also tastes heavily salted (no additional salt was added) and will need to be diluted to be remotely consumable.  Thankfully there is enough flavor to easily withstand lots of additional water.

Our plan for this broth is simply to use as a starter for split pea soup come winter.  1 jar broth, 1 jar water and a bunch of dried peas will make a speedy dinner from liquid we would have otherwise thrown out.  We`ll report on the taste then.

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