Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Spicy Pickled Green Beans- A Canning Tutorial without a Pressure Cooker!
I used to work at a comedy club that had the BEST Bloody Mary's I've ever tasted. Our bartender made the mix from scratch and the garnish, Dear Lord, the GARNISH.... Green Olives, Cocktail Onions, a Celery Stick, a Lime and SPICY BEANS! If there was ever an order for a Bloody Mary, the waitstaff would hoard around that end of the bar like a Rat on a Cheeto just to steal a bean. It was quite humorous, to say the least.
Last week when ordering Bountiful Baskets, I saw they were offering a 28 pound box of fresh Green Beans for $21.00. No time like the present!!!! I ordered it, recruited a friend to spend the weekend canning with me, and plans were set! We also got a 25 pound case of Hatch Chiles which we canned on Sunday.
Saturday morning! Up and out the door at 8:30 AM- Time to pick up the basket and my case of green beans!!! Whoot! I was like a kid on Christmas morning! My friend and I picked up our goodies, grabbed a Starbucks and off to the store for supplies. Now...... I'd been researching different ways to spice the beans and with my 28 pounds I needed to prepare to make 60.... yes, SIXTY pints of beans.
We bought our supplies (including doughnuts and random snacks for the 6 kids at home) checked on the price of a jar at the store and were on our way!
*Note- We were at one of the cheapest stores in town and this small jar of pickled beans is $4.56 for 9.9 oz or .38¢ per/oz.
I ended up purchasing 3 cases of quart jars @$8.98 per case because I felt like larger jars of this treat were necessary.
Also on the list:
6 gallons of Vinegar, 1 pound of Pickling Spice, a gigantic stalk/bunch of Fresh Dill, about 15 Jalapenos, 20 bulbs of Garlic, Sugar, Dried Red Chiles, and Sheets of Seaweed.
Let the fun begin!!!!
Set up a smaller pot of HOT water for your seals and rings to stay hot in.
Get a large pot (with pull out strainer) of water boiling on the stove (For blanching).
Get another HUMONGOUS pot washed and available for the actual canning part.
Wash, de-stem and cut Jalapenos in fourths.
Peel ALL Garlic.
Prep Fresh Dill.
Snip roses out of yard. make arrangement using fresh Dill as filler.
(Each batch fills about 2.5 jars)
2.5 Cups Water
2.5 Cups Vinegar
2/3 Cup Sugar.
Bring to a simmer until sugar is dissolved.
We used just about every bowl I own during this process.
Fill a popcorn size bowl with beans.
Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.
Discard tiny, shriveled or 'yucky' beans.
Once you have a full bowl of prepped beans, pour into pot of boiling water and blanch for 5 mins.
Remove beans from water immediately and put into bowl.
Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Dump into the largest item you can find (for later). I suggest a clean cooler. We used my wok......
Repeat..... And I mean... repeat.
Decide how many jars will fit in your fatty daddy mother of all cooking appliances pot.
Fill each batch with:
2 cloves Garlic
1 sheet Seaweed
1-2 Jalapeno Spears
1 Dried Red Chili Pepper
Some fresh Dill
Literally 'stuff' blanched beans into jar
Top off with: 1 1/2 TBSP Pickling Spice & 2 tsp Kosher Salt
Pour hot brine on top of ingredients. Add more beans if necessary. Make sure to leave about 1" of space between the top of the jar and the liquid.
Pull hot seals and rings out of water bath.
Put everything together hot.
When the (6 jars at a time in our case) jars are all ready, using metal gripping or canning tongs, carefully put jars in the fatty pot and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
2 person process →When time is up, pull jars out with tongs... and oven mitts and possibly a forcefield or body armor.
Set on towel upside down for 5 minutes. Don't touch.
After 5 minutes, turn right side up and place in a separate area to cool completely without being disturbed.
Over the next hour or two, you will hear random 'popping'. The jars are sealing themselves and this is a good thing. ☺
Once all jars are cooled (24 hours later) inspect the tops by:
Feeling if the lid is sealed- If it pops up when you press it, you better consume that one quickly. Put it in the fridge to be safe.
Looking at the uniformity of the seal. We had a few that were boiled too long and ended up being sealed but the seals were con-vexed and that made me nervous. -> in the fridge
Listening - If you tap on the lid with a spoon, it will make a high pitched ringing sound.
If you have leftover garlic, do this:
So is canning worth it?
We spent $68.98 on the ingredients and the jars (had to buy new) to make (34) 32 oz (jar weight excluded) jars of Spicy Pickled Green Beans.
$2.03 per jar or 6¢ per oz
If we had attempted to purchase 1,088 oz of the store brand, we would have spent $413.44 + tax.
And on top of that, if we already had the jars and were just reusing and had grown these beans ourselves, the cost would have been: $21.04 total/ 34 jars = .62¢ each or 1.9¢ p/oz.
Oh Yeah- They're worth it.