So you cooked a big fat turkey for Thanksgiving and couldn't finish it all? You are not alone. In fact, thousands of Americans throw out leftover food after the festivities are over, and about 200 million pounds of turkey get tossed out, according to PBS. That's quite a bit of meat that could have been used in so many delicious turkey recipes.
If your conscience won't allow you to throw out the leftover turkey but you don't want to be eating turkey for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the rest of the week, fear not because there is a simple solution: pressure canning the meat. By canning the leftover turkey, you won't have to worry about it going bad for a long time. It will save you some freezer space, too.
You can use the canned meat to make turkey stew, soup, sandwiches, salads, casseroles, patties, and much more. Foods you can at home can last up to a year in ambient temperature and proper storage conditions, so perhaps you can enjoy the leftover turkey all year long!
What You Should About Pressure Canning Leftover Turkey
Pressure canning turkey is a smart way to preserve it for a long time, but it can be a tedious process, so make sure you have enough time to do it properly. Additionally, since you are dealing with meat, maintaining an optimum level of hygiene and meticulously following all the necessary steps during the canning process are non-negotiable to ensure the canned meat doesn't go bad.
All parts of the bird can be pressure canned, but some may argue that dark turkey meat is a better choice than white meat. It may withstand canning better since it is less likely to dry out and more flavorful due to its higher fat content. To add flavor, you can simmer the meat in broth with the bones herbs, and aromatics like rosemary, thyme, onion, celery, garlic, and ginger. You don't necessarily have to store the canned turkey in the fridge — keeping the jars in a cool place will do.
Your pressure-canned turkey will not go bad for a while, but it's always good to make sure that the meat is safe to consume. The first thing to take note of once you open the can is the smell. Canned turkey will develop a pungent smell, and it's one of the first signs of spoilage. Excessive discoloration and foaminess are other signs to look out for. Once opened, canned turkey should be stored in the fridge to avoid spoilage.
Read the original article on Mashed.