Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Josh's Dilly Beans
Posted by Diana Renata
I'm really thrilled to bring you this recipe today. It's not my recipe, and I've yet to attempt it, but I can tell you the results are absolutely delicious. I'm not the only one in my family who likes to play in the kitchen, and this recipe actually belongs to my nephew, Josh. He's the guy I have to thank for providing me with wild game that ranges from fox to raccoon, and nearly everything in between. Besides being an excellent trapper, he makes some fantastic wine and even better dilly beans.
For anyone new to canning, I'll do my best to walk you through the process. I'm still pretty new to it myself.
Josh's Dilly Beans
1/2 to 3/4 cup of salt
5 1/2 cups of vinegar
9 cups of water
1/2 tsp alum
1 Tbsp red pepper
1 Tbsp dill
1 Tbsp mustard seed
Start out by sterilizing your canning jars. Always sterilize extra jars, just in case you need them. They can be sanitized in the dishwasher, dried and placed in the oven at 250 degrees for about 20 minutes. Boil your lids and rings for 15 minutes. After the jars are sterilized handle them with clean hands, avoid touching the rim, and allow them to cool while you prepare your dilly beans.
Wash and trim your green beans to fit into the jars. Some people prefer bite-size beans, so you can trim them into any length you like. A half bushel will make nearly 7 quarts.
Prepare your brine in a large pot, mixing all your ingredients together and heating over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Allow it to cool. You don't want to pour hot liquid into your jars, especially if they're Ball jars. The bottoms are known to break.
Pack your green beans, and any of your other cold pack ingredients into your jars. Using a ladle and canning funnel, add your cooled brine to your jars. Lightly cap your jars and gently shake or tap your jars on the counter to get all the bubbles to come to the top. Do this until you no longer see bubbles. Remove the lids and top off your jars with brine. If the top of your liquid has bubbles, lightly scrape them off with the back of a butter knife. Put the lids back on and tighten them with moderate pressure.
Put all of your jars in a stock pot. They can be touching but give them a little room. Add water to the pot until your jars are covered by at least an inch of water. Cover the pan and heat to boiling, then reduce the heat until you have a nice, gentle boil. A harder boil can break your jars. At this point let boil for 90 minutes to 2 hours. Quart jars will take closer to 2 hours.
Spread a dish towel out on the counter. Carefully remove your jars from the hot water. A jar lifter is ideal, but a sturdy pair of tongs will work, if you've got a good grip. This can be tricky! If you have to use tongs, try to remove as much of the water from the pot as possible before attempting to remove the jars. Use oven mits if you have to hold the bottom of the jar. Set your jars on the towel and cover them with another dish towel to keep heat in for as long as possible. As your jars cool you will hear them "pop," telling you the jars have sealed.
After your jars seal, remove the rings and place them in a baking pan. Put them in the oven and heat to 200 degrees, then turn the oven off. Wipe your jars dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. When the rings have cooled, replace them on the jars and lightly tighten. Overdoing it can break your seal. Label the lids with a date, and your beans should keep up to a year.
I love pickled veggies. While cucumbers are an old favorite, I've come to love pickled cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. This is the first time I've ever heard of pickled green beans. Last year we had so many green beans we didn't know what to do with them. You bet I know what I'm doing with them this year!