Another CSA skill: Preserving food indefinitely without refrigeration. At this time, there's lots of root vegetables. In particular, I've got nearly a bushel of beets, lots of onions, carrots, and some turnips. Garlic and dried herbs to spare. I also have a large quantity of mutton shoulder cut into stewing pieces. So... Muttony pseudo-borscht it is! Begin:
[Mandatory warning: pressure canning is dangerous and potentially deadly if you don't know what you're doing. Educate yourself thoroughly before trying at home. You have been warned.]
1. Taking 3Kg of the mutton out of the freezer for browning @ 350˚F for 1/2 hour (to break it up) and 450˚F for 15 mins. to brown it.
2. Meanwhile, peel all those damn root veg.
3. 1/2 the Onion & all the garlic in butter until translucent.
4. Add stock and a few handfuls of cooked rice for thickening, and blend until smooth.
5. Add more stock and all the veg, chopped, including a chopped head of cabbage for leafy stuff.
6. The meat is browned. Toss it in and cook for 1/2 hour.
7. It's soup, but much of the veg is still a little crunchy. Since we're canning, this is a good place to stop.
8. Putting the hot soup in canning jars and loading up the pressure-canner.
9. This one takes two layers of litre cans, stacked on an aluminum brace between the layers.
10. After 45 minutes @ 10lbs of pressure (235˚F—high enough to kill botulin bacteria), cooldown and pressure down to sea level, the cans are still boiling inside their vaccuum.
11. Even 1/2 hour later, the low-pressure soup continues to boil. Leave it overnight, then another day to make sure the seals are secure. Then wash the cans, dry completely, and store.