If you want to be absolutely sure, even if the jar of meat seems perfectly fresh when it is opened, you can re-cook the meat, thus insuring yourself against any possibility of botulinus poisoning. So you see, there is nothing at all alarming about that frightful sounding word “botulinus.” Using fresh products, doing the canning properly and reheating before serving eliminates all danger.
For canning meat, tin cans are in most respects superior to glass, as they eliminate all danger of breakage, preserve the meat just as well as glass, and by excluding the light prevent any change of color. If you use glass jars be sure to get the best brand of jar rubbers on the market. This is very important.
If, as I have said, you are a beginner—cook the meat first by frying, roasting, broiling, baking or stewing—just as you would prepare it for immediate use. The meat is usually seasoned according to taste and is cooked until thoroughly heated through, before putting in the cans. Do not cook until tender as that will be too long with the additional sterilizing. If too tender it will fall apart and be unappetizing although perfectly good. See that nothing is wasted in the canning. If you are canning a young steer or a calf you would go about it as follows:
Select the meat that you would ordinarily want. Slice the meat wanted for steak. What is not suited for either of these can be used for stews, or be put through the meat grinder and made into sausage meat, formed into little cakes, fried and canned. What meat is left clinging to all bones will be utilized when the bones are boiled for soup stock. The sinews, the head and the feet, after being cleaned may be used for soup stock also.
The liver should be soaked in water, the coarse veins cut out and the liver skinned and prepared any way that is desired before canning it or it may be made into liver sausage. The heart can be used for goulash. The kidneys should be soaked in salt water, split open and the little sack removed; then they can be either stewed or fried and then canned. The sweetbreads may be prepared in various ways and then canned.
The brain is soaked in water to remove the blood, and the membrane enclosing it is removed. It can be fried or prepared in any favorite way and then canned. The ox tail is used for soup. The tongue is soaked in water, scrubbed, cleaned, salted, boiled, skinned and packed in cans with some soup stock added.
If you do not care to use the head for soup stock and if it comes from a young animal, split it open and soak in cold water. Use a brush and scrub thoroughly. Remove the eyes and mucous membrane of the nostrils and then boil it. After it is boiled, remove all meat and make a mock turtle stew or ragout. Prepare the tripe as for table use and then can.
After the soup stock is made and the bones are cracked for a second cooking, the bones need not be thrown away. You can dry them, run them through a bone crusher and either feed them to the chickens or use them for fertilizer. In this way not a particle of the dressed animal is wasted.