Thursday, April 18, 2013

April Canning Challenge ~ Recipe 1 of 10: Ginger Carrots in Beef Broth

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It's a new month and time for another food challenge.  This month is canning!  For my first recipe, I started digging through my fridge and decided on some ginger carrots in beef broth.  I'm always buying carrots in a big bag because they are pretty inexpensive, and by the time I get through with the bag, I hate carrots for a week or so.  My solution for this time around is to can about half, and I know I have carrots in the cupboard for later this year for soup!

2 1/2 lbs carrots
2 Tbs minced ginger
4 cups beef broth
salt (optional)

For my recipe I used my 9 Piece Pressure Canning Kit from Fagor.  This kit is amazing and provides just about everything that you need for canning.  I have been using random stuff from my kitchen for all my canning, and all the tools in this kit have been a huge improvement over how I have been doing things.

Here is everything that comes with the Canning Kit
  • Duo 10 quart 18/10 Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker/Canner. Can be used for both pressure cooking & pressure canning.
    Fagor Duo 9pc Canning Set
  • Home Canning Cookbook with recipes
  • Canning Rack
  • Stainless Steel Funnel
  • Stainless Steel Ladle
  • Jar Lifter
  • Jar Wrench
  • Bubble Freer
  • Magnetic Lid Lifter
There is also an instructional DVD that had great information on it.  This is NOT the pressure cooker that I remember my mom using when I was growing up!  I have vague memories of having to twist things to keep the lid on, and watching the needle on the gauge and adjusting the heat up and down to keep a semi-consistent pressure in the cooker.  I now fondly think of it as some movie prop that could be used in some sort of cheesy science fiction movies from the 50's.  This pressure cooker from Fagor is sleek and takes out almost all of the guess work for keeping constant pressure!  The Jar Lifter and Magnetic Lid Lifter are a huge improvement over the salad tongs that I was using before.  I am able to hold the jars more securely, and removing the lids from boiling is a breeze.  The Stainless Steel Funnel helps a to keep the jar rims clean, and the Stainless Steel Ladle holds a full cup.  I like the Bubble Freer because it is slanted on one side and works very well getting around the inside of the and the Jar Wrench is good for not burning my hands when the jars and rings are hot.

Prepping Food Directions:

Place broth and ginger in large pot and simmer.
Wash, peel, and rewash carrots. Slice carrots into 1/4 to 1/2 inch circles.
See...this part was not so bad was it?

Canning Directions:

Wash jars, lids and rings, and rinse well.
Place jars and lids in a very large pot of just boiling water and boil for 10 minutes.  Be sure that everything is covered, a large stockpot should go the trick.  You do not want a full boil, just enough to bubble up some to sterilize.
Use Jar lifter and remove jars from boiling water and carefully pour water out of jars.  I found it easier to grab the jars from the side and pour out water, than to grab them from the top and try and pour the water out.  Set jars on towel and let cool for a moment. (you do not want to burn your fingers as you fill the jars).
Using funnel, fill jars tightly with raw carrots, leaving 1-inch headspace. I used 1/2 pint jars and was able to fill 5. Add 1/8 teaspoon of salt per 1/2 pint jar, if desired.
Stir broth and use ladle to pour hot broth through funnel into jar, leaving 1-inch headspace.
Use Bubble Freer (or butter knife) and run it along the sides of the inside of the jar to knock loose any stray bubbles.
Carefully wipe the rims on the jars, then use Magnetic Lid Lifter to remove lids from water and place on jars.  Place ring on top and use Jar Wrench to slightly tighten ring onto the jar.  You do not want this super tight as you want air to be able to escape during pressure canning process.
Place Canning Rack inside pressure cooker and fill with 2-3 inches of hot water.
Carefully place jars inside pressure cooker with Jar Lifter, be sure that jars are not touching each other or sides of pressure cooker.  I did 3 jars the first time and 2 jars the second time.
Place lid on pressure cooker and lock into place.
Set burner to Medium-High and wait for steam to start venting out of the top.  Let steam vent for 10 minutes, the switch over to 1 setting on the top of the lid.  There is a little bellow button on the lid that will pop up to signal that there is pressure built up in the cooker.  Once steam is coming out of the vent again, process for 20 minutes.  Steam should be coming out of the vent the entire time.
Once 20 minutes have passed, turn off burner, and let pressure cooker vent all steam and depressurize before removing lid.  The little yellow button will go down when the cooker is depressurized.
Carefully remove lid so that you do not get a face full of steam, and remove jars onto a towel to cool.  Be sure to leave some space between the jars for airflow.  As the jars cool, you should hear a 'pop' that lets you know your jars have sealed!

I now have carrots on hand to use for soups, stir fry's, or what ever else I can think of!  They worked great in a pot of soup I made the other night, and  I gave some to my sister-in-law, and she has been enjoying them straight out of the jar.

Special thanks to Fagor for sponsoring this month's food challenge and providing me with the 9 Piece Pressure Canning Kit.

Find Fagor on-line:


If you are looking for recipes, just take a look below! I have teamed up with Becky from Week99er, Amy from Savvy Saving Couple, Lindsay from Pandora's Deals, and several other bloggers to bring you some unique recipes this month! Please let us know if you try one and like it!