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Canned Venison

When people hear the phrase “canned meat,” their first thought is usually Spam.  Honestly, that’s not fair to all the canned meat that I’ve eaten my lifetime.  Granted, most of that has been homemade, so it really is like comparing apples to penguins.  But since most people associate canned meat with Spam, it is really hard to get them to try it (I actually like Spam, but it seems like I’m in the minority, as usual).  I’ve tried several times with Lindz, but I haven’t been able to trick her into it.  Yet.

I don’t know why people won’t try this. It looks delicious!

What I think people fail to realize is what the canning process does to the meat.  You take the meat and put it in a jar with about a teaspoon of salt, put a lid on it and put it in the pressure cooker.  You then cook it for an hour or so under pressure (I can’t remember how long Mom told me she cooks it for, but with her cooker it was at 10 psi).  The pressure does two things, first it vacuum seals the contents of the jar so that it is shelf stable for quite some time (I’ve eaten canned stuff that was close to two years old).  But more importantly, it does the equivalent of several hours worth of slow cooking in a fraction of the time.  That is why you see them use it all the time on Iron Chef and other shows.  The slow cooking / pressure cooking process breaks down all of the connective tissue and the resulting meat is even more tender than “fork-tender.”  Because the juices have no where to escape, the meat is succulent beyond belief.  If you don’t believe me, try some canned chicken breast.  It is one of those notorious cuts that always seem dry and flavorless.  The canned version is so unbelievably juicy and tender you will swear off any other way of preparing it.  Yeah, it may look a bit nasty in the jar, but heat it up and turn that juice into a gravy and no one will be any the wiser.

So Lindz had the late shift at work one night and I needed something fairly low stress to make for supper.  I had already used the canned chicken that I stole from Mom, but I did have the canned venison left!

Just so that you’re not confused by the mystery meat inside.

I have yet to find a better preparation of canned meat other than heating it up and making a gravy to go with it.  I did however mix it up a little bit this time.  I did a variation of chipped beef but did a brown gravy and served it on mashed potatoes instead of toast.  When the meat was heating up, I broke it apart with the spatula and added a cube of chicken bouillon, a heaping tablespoon of flour, and about 4 ounces of water.  I then let this reduce and thicken to a “proper gravy consistency.”  For me, that means that when you scrape the pan, it stays clear for a very brief second before filling back in.

A perfect consistency for gravy.

By this point, my potatoes were done.  So I mashed them, added a couple of tablespoons of butter, and mixed to a nice creamy consistency.  If you are a meat and potatoes type of eater, this is a perfect supper anytime.

At this point it’s impossible to tell that it ever looked scary in a jar, so just eat it!

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