How to Can a Delicious Pork and Bean Recipe with a Twist
Pork and beans is a favorite of campers and hikers, along with backyard barbecues during the summer. However, it is also a food combination that provides a nice nutritional punch by giving you access to protein, carbs and a range of nutrients. In other words, it’s almost a complete meal in a can, and this is why it has been a standard survival food item for generations. Let’s take a look at a tasty recipe that you can put together with some basic ingredients and incorporate it into your emergency food supply.
4 cups, or 2 lbs of dried navy beans
4 cups of tomato juice (if you can make it yourself, even better)
¼ lb of diced salt pork
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup total)
3 tablespoons of sugar (brown or raw, depending on your preferences)
2 teaspoons of sea salt
¼ teaspoon of allspice
¼ teaspoon of cloves (preferably ground)
The first step is to sort, rinse and soak the beans in a pot of cool water for about 12-18 hours. Try to keep the beans in a cool, dark place in order to promote optimal absorption. Prepare your pressure canner and heat the jars when the beans are finished soaking. This will allow you to put everything together and get the beans processed with minimal delay once they’re ready. You also want to heat up a pot of boiling water so it’s ready when you start the next step.
When the beans are ready, strain and rinse them before placing them into a large stockpot. Pour in the boiling water until the beans are completely submerged by at least two inches. Boil the beans vigorously for about 3 minutes before removing from heat and draining once again. Let the beans rest for about 10 minutes before placing them back into the stockpot along with the tomato juice, seasonings, salt, sugar and onion. Bring up the heat to a boil once again, but this time immediately remove from heat.
Next, carefully ladle 1 cup of the beans into a heated and sanitized canning jar with a slotted spoon. Add a piece of pork to the top before ladling the juice until it reaches at least an inch above the beans and leaves you with about an inch of headspace. Take the end of a wooden spatula, or any other object that doesn’t contain metal, and remove any excess air bubbles before wiping down the rim with a damp cloth to remove any gunk or debris. Attach the lid assemblies and tighten.
Processing and Storage
Place the jars into the pressure canner and attach the cover before bringing up the heat, but leave the vents open to allow steam to escape. Allow the canner to vent for 15 minutes before closing the vents and attaching the pressure gauge. Process the jars for 60-75 minutes, and make sure that you adjust pressure and cook times according to your altitude. When finished, remove from heat, open the vent holes and allow the canner to depressurize before removing the lid. Carefully remove the jars and place them on a rack or hard surface lined with a towel or cloth.
Allow the jars to cool at room temperature for about 24 hours before checking the quality of the seals and separating any defective jars from the others. Label, date and store the good jars in a cool and dark place and consume any rejects. You can expect to have a shelf life of more than a year if the jars are processed correctly, but make sure that you rotate out the older supplies first in order to avoid spoilage during storage.
Feel free to improvise this recipe according to your tastes and preferences. However, try to use the tomato juice as it will not only add a nice bit of flavor to the finished product, but you’ll also get more nutrients packed into each jar as well.