Beef Stew? Broth instead of water?

mrswaz(Z5A NE WI)April 1, 2013

The Hubby has requested that I use my newfound talent for pressure canning to make him some meals for on the road. One he particularly is interested in is beef stew. I have the recipe for Beef Stew with Vegetables in the Ball Complete Book, which looks pretty straightforward.

My questions is on the water... can I use de-fatted beef broth instead of water for the stew? The foodie in me says that the broth will add much more nutrition and flavor than water.

But you can also tell me that this stew is delicious as is, and I'll be surprised by using the water.

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mrswaz(Z5A NE WI)

...And after doing some searches, I have a follow-up question. I've been devouring all kinds of information about pressure canning, and one thing I've already ingrained into my brain is that when making soups, you fill the jars halfway with the "chunks" and then the rest of the way with the broth.

Is there an exception to that for this stew recipe? Or should I follow the half and half rule?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 12:15PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

The Ball recipe has been tested with the proportions provided in the recipe so you don't need to go half-and-half. Thicker (i.e. denser) mixtures aren't prohibited if they have been professionally tested as given. The soup proportions are designed to provide a safe product with latitude for various ingredients. So I guess it's apples and oranges.

If you want a beef stew with stock you might check out the recipes at the link. They are similarly safe-tested and reliable. There's a beef stew with stock on page 23 of the document. Just be sure the meat is lean and well-trimmed.


Here is a link that might be useful: Wisconsin Extension Canning Meats and Game

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 2:42PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Also please note there is a substantial processing time difference between Beef Stew and Beef with Vegetable Soup or other soups.

Pints are 1 hour and 15 mins. vs. only 60 mins for the soups. Quarts require 1 hour and 30 mins.

That alone would explain why the differences between doing soups and doing stews.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 6:04PM
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mrswaz(Z5A NE WI)

Thank you both!

Carol, I think I will use that recipe you shared, it looks good- and it will be nice to have the recipe on hand for when we end up with some venison from friends. Currently we have some grass fed beef roasts that are so lean, I've been having trouble using them. The meat is tasty- but tough, so I am hoping that the pressure canned stew will be just the ticket to make that beef tender and perfect.

Dave, thank you for pointing out the difference in processing times. That makes complete sense to me, and I will proceed with no concerns that I'm doing something wrong. Whew. I'll get the hang of this soon!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:35PM
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