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[personal profile] mrsbrown
There are 12 trout in my fridge and another 12 or so in my freezer.  Time to sort out what to do with them.

What I really want is to find a way to replace the tins of tuna and salmon that we use almost weekly. 

There seem to be 3 options;
  1. bottle, with vinegar etc
  2. smoke then pressure can
  3. pressure can
If I bottle, it seems I can include the bones as they will dissolve/become edible in a month or so.

Here's a good, general document on dealing with Rainbow Trout.

bottling recipes/hints that seem reasonable
Uses vinegar, boils for  3 hours.

Almost identical recipe to above

A couple of different recipes

Note that the US universities seem to be consistent in saying that it is not reasonable to bottle fish, even with vinegar, as you can't kill botulism, however the processes described above are very keen to thoroughly sterilise the jars and then boil for a long time. 

Smoke then pressure can

States that vinegar isn't enough to preserve safely, and pressure canning is the only way.
Excellent, researched documents on the techniques and temperature/time variables to make smoked fish work.  It notes that if smoking for canning, then you should only lightly smoke the fish.

Pressure can
The instructions with the pressure canner (thanks sjkasabi!) has instructions on what to do; put cans in canner, put in 3quarts (close enough to 3L) water, put on the lid, get the canner up to pressure and hold it there for 100minutes, turn off and open when the pressure has dropped.  Also, follow every safety requirement to the letter.

What I'm going to do

I was going to grab a bottled trout recipe, and pressure can it.  But the instructions for canning are pretty specific about not adding liquid.  But the bottled recipes say that the bones become edible after 3 months one month (different recipe) and I think that might be from the vinegar.  Aaargh!

Decision made;  I'm adding vinegar - the chicken recipes all call for added broth, so it won't be a problem.

What happened

I collected enough jars to fill the pressure cooker.  I've cut up 8 fish, and have lots of jars left over.  I think I need about 20 fish to fill the pressure cooker with jars of fish. I was getting almost one fish into each jam jar, although I imagine I'll fit more smoked fish in a jar because of the moisture reduction in the brining process.  I thought the small jars - minced garlic and curry paste jars, would be best, but now I think I prefer the jam jar sized ones.  Best of all are the wide mouthed, short jars, but I only had 2 and they're a bit easy to over fill.

The fish cutting and filling jars didn't take long, about an hour?  I had two jars sterilising in a pot of boiling water on the stove while I cut up fish and stuffed jars.

I mixed up 200ml vinegar, 10 teaspoons cooking salt, 5 teaspoons brown sugar and a slurp of olive oil.  I added a teaspoon or so of the mix to the small jars and a bit more in the jam jar sized ones.

Pressure cooker took about 30min to get to pressure from cold water and I'm sitting supervising it until the pressure stabilises.

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