10 lbs ground beef (aka, Hamburg)
3 cloves garlic (do not be tempted to add more because raw garlic when pressure-canned can be overwhelming)
2-3 T light brown sugar
1&1/4 tomato ketchup
1 plastic package of saltine crackers (buy a box of saltines and use one of the plastic packages inside)
1 T parsley
1 t yellow mustard (powder)
1 t pepper
2 t salt
Prepare your jars and lids and bands per the instructions in the above link on canning principles. Keep lids submerged in hot water to soften the rubber seal.
Combine everything in a bowl.
Mix all ingredients well
Pack tightly in clean jars. I like adding a little at a time and stomping to pack tightly.
I used a french rolling pin inside a plastic bread bag (so the wood does not touch the meat)
Leave about 1&1/4 inch headspace. Try to eliminate air pockets as much as you can.
About an inch and a quarter of headspace
Wipe rims to make sure no pieces will get trapped between the lids and the rims. Apply the bands just finger tight. This will allow for air to escape but still help prevent liquid or pieces to get through. Too tight and you will prevent air to escape, hence, not creating a vacuum. The air trapped may also pose a problem with microbes trapped that will not be heated enough to get killed.
Screw on the bands just finger-tight.
Place in the pressure canner with cold water. This is to prevent shock. Turn on the heat, close the canner tightly without the weight. Once steam escapes, time for 10 mins to help create vacuum in the canner. This allows for even heat distribution.
After 10 mins of steam escaping, you might notice that the gauge shows the pressure going up from 0. Put the weight on the “nipple” to help increase the pressure inside. Steam under pressure will create the right temperature necessary to kill the microbes inside the jars within the specified/recommended time frame.
Let pressure reach 10 psi before turning your heat down. On my gas stove, #4 setting keeps that pressure at this level. If I go down, the pressure might not be maintained. When that happens, the countdown begins anew.
Set timer with the pressure kept at 10 psi for 90 mins minimum.
Once done, turn off the heat and let cool down naturally. Do not remove the weight. I usually go to bed by this time then remove the jars the next day. I wait about 24 hours before testing for the seal. Look for jars that did not seal (the lids are still popped up instead of down); refrigerate these and consume within two weeks. (All of mine are sealed properly.)
Test the seal by removing the bands and then lifting the jars by the lids. The lid should not come off.
All lids are concave – sealed!
When ready to consume, the juice might have solidified and not allow for easy sliding of the meatloaf out of the jar. Reheat slightly in the microwave or hot water to melt the juice.
The meatloaf shrinks in size so it moves away from the glass jar walls.
This will then make it easy to slide the meat out.
Slides out of the jar if you melt the juice first
You can eat right out of the jar or pan-fry to reheat and brown the outside.
Tips: Store these in a dark, cool, dry room. Do not bother to reapply the bands. This will help you spot the bad ones easier because if you improperly have canned this and the Botulinum bacteria survived and thrive inside the jar (because of anaerobic and high pH conditions), they will create gas (no more vacuum), which will push the lid out. However, once you open a good jar and have leftovers, place the lid back on. Consume the leftovers within two weeks.