Friday, September 6, 2013

Lazy canning makes more work

In August I went on a canning frenzy and pressure canned the black beans I'd been meaning to do for a while.

There was only one problem: five of my nine jars didn't seal.  Or maybe that counts as five problems?

This precisely sums up how I felt about it:

A quick google search - sans cussing - revealed that I've been getting sloppy with my canning.  My headspaces have been uneven and I haven't been removing air bubbles as carefully as I should be.

Lesson learned. 

I may purchase one of these canning funnels with the headspace measurements.  Or I could pony up a buck at the dollar store for a dedicated kitchen ruler.

Neither a new funnel nor a ruler was going to solve my problem of five cans of unsealed beans.  It wasn't an option to reprocess the beans unless I wanted five jars of flavorless mush.

I turned to my favorite black bean burger recipe.  Gene loves these, I love them, and they very economical.  I made three jars' worth of the burgers, and froze the rest for refried beans.

Three jars of beans makes about 12 burgers.  These burgers freeze great and even hold together better if you start them from frozen instead of thawing them first.  I make the entire thing in the food processor, working in batches, then mix by hand to ensure even distribution of ingredients.  I portion them out into half-cup patties and freeze them on a cookie sheet.  We've found that a bun squishes the burger and makes them very messy to eat.  Our favorite way to eat them is nestled in a grilled tortilla with sriracha mayo, a slice of tomato, and any regular burger toppings you'd like. 

Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burgers (from
Makes 4 patties
1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 egg
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce or hot sauce
1/2 cup bread crumbs

  1. If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and lightly oil a baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick and pasty.
  3. In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Then stir into mashed beans.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and chili sauce.
  5. Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into four patties.
  6. If grilling, place patties on foil, and grill about 8 minutes on each side. If baking, place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.
What would you do with five jars of black beans?