Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Cooking with Chef Jo: Canning Beef Stew

Everyone knows how to make beef stew, right? It's a no brainer, right? You chop some meat and vegetables and throw it all into a pot of water with some seasonings, and simmer forever. But it's a year around comfort. Especially now when it's cold and blustery outside.

What really makes my beef stew a stand out winner is my seasoned salt blend. Don't worry. The recipe is coming now.

Jo's Seasoned Salt Blend

4 TBS Sea salt, fine
1 TBS black pepper, I use the coarse ground
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 TBS paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
6 bay leaves, ground

Mix well. I store mine in a half pint jar in my cool, dark pantry. Shake before using. You can double this recipe for pint jars. These tend to be the herbs and spices I add to most of my recipes. feel free to change them up for yours. I use on everything!

Now for my beef stew recipe. Again, I'm canning most of it. I also lucked out out at the grocery store. I found the beef and frozen stew vegetables on sale. No chopping for me except for potatoes, rutabagas, and turnips. Is it just me, or is there never enough potatoes in these premixed bags? I love me some tators! Also I'll buy a good looking chuck roast and have the butcher remove the silver skin, most of the fat, and chop it into chunks. In the old days, pre strokes, I would have done myself. It's cheaper that way. Yeah me! It was also on sale! My total bill for the beef and frozen vegetables was $20! But I'll do this recipe for canning the regular way with actual vegetable amounts.

Jo's Beef Stew for Canning
Makes 27 pint and a half jars plus dinner for two nights
5 lbs of stew meat
1 lb potatoes, washed, large dice about 1"
2 lb carrots, washed, large diced about 1"
4 large onions, diced about 1", or 2 lb pearl onions, peeled
2 rutabaga, peeled, diced about 1"
4 turnips, peeled, diced about 1"
1/2 bunch celery, chopped about 1"
1-2 lb bag frozen peas,thawed
6 cloves garlic, minced
Jo' seasoned salt
Worcestershire sauce

* Notice I say plain water not beef broth. This is a semi raw pack canning method. The beef will make the broth while it cans. I love my Vidala Onion Chopper!

  • Brown the stew meat in a skillet. This is why this is a semi raw pack. By browning the beef first, you get a little better end product and there's less shrinkage of the meat while canning. Set aside in your staging area.
Now for the easy part. Loading your jars. I thawed my frozen vegetables and moved them to my staging area with my other chopped vegetables and meat. I washed and air dried 3 cases of pint and a half jars (27). With some of my garden produce from cold stores added it averages out to about $0.75 a jar of good, wholesome, convenience food with no additives or chemicals.

  • Fill each jar with 1/2 tsp Jo's seasoned salt, 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce and 1/8 of tsp minced garlic.
  • Half fill each jar with water.
  • Place 8-12 pieces of meat in each jar.
  • Add about 1/2 a handful of each vegetable  in each jar.
  • Top off each jar with water to 1" of top if needed.
  • Wipe rims, lid, ring each jar and place in COLD pressure canner filled with manufacturer's recommended amount of water.  Can for your altitude and time.For me, it's 15 lb for 90 minutes.
To Serve
Stir 1 Tbs flour into 3 tBS water. Add to the sauce pan of stew, heat and eat.
Alternate Recipes
Serve over rice or noodles, or add dumplings.

The great thing about bulk canning is that there's always seems to be (on occasion) one jar that doesn't seal. Like this time. How's that for ready to eat meal? I'll throw it and any leftover meat & vegetables in a pot of water with Jo's seasoned salt to taste. Since it's early in the AM, I'll just throw it in a crockpot, or put it in my the Dutch oven cast iron pot on the wood stove to enjoy it later. Tonight, I'm adding dumpling.

Another yummy for tummy and for next time. Enjoy.

"Y'all have a blessed day!


  1. Beef stew! This sounds so good right now.

    1. I opened a jar last night. Even better after pressure canning!


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