Beef pot roast in a jar


Instant Sunday dinner: just serve this pot roast with its delicious gravy over mash, with a few of your home-canned veg for sides.

The prep work for canning is also really fast: the entire mixture is raw pack.

This recipe comes from the Ball All New book (2016).

Like many Ball recipes, the sodium in this can be a bit high, but you can reduce the salt, which is just there for seasoning, and add instead if you wish at the table.

You may wish to double or triple this recipe to get a full canner load: if so, just do your calculations on paper first before proceeding so that you aren’t trying to do mental gymnastics in the thick of things.

The recipe

Jar size choices: Half-litre (US pint / 16 oz) OR litre (US quart / 32 oz)

Processing method: Pressure canning only

Yield: 2 x litre (US quart) jars

Headspace: 3 cm (1 inch)

Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet.)

Processing time:  Half-litres (pints) 75 minutes; litres (quarts) 90 minutes

If you don’t have a pressure canner, you can freeze this in plastic containers or straight-sided jars with no shoulders. (Water-bath canning is not acceptable for safety reasons.)

Pot Roast in a jar

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Yield: 2 x 1 litre (quart) jars

Serving size: 1 cup / 250 ml

Calories: 272

Fat: 6.2 g

  • 250 ml dry red wine (1 cup / 8 oz)
  • 2 teaspoons salt OR salt sub
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 150 g sliced carrot (1 cup / 5 oz. Measured after prep. About 1 large or 2 medium carrots)
  • 150 g diced potato (1 cup / 5 oz. Measured after prep. About 1 medium potato)
  • 75 g diced celery (1/2 cup / 2 oz. Measured after prep. About 1 stalk of celery)
  • 200 g diced onion (1 cup / 7 oz. Measured after prep. About 1 medium onion.)
  • 1 kg stewing beef (such as chuck or round) (2 lbs)
  • Bay leaves
  • Beef broth (hot)
  1. In a large bowl or pot, mix everything from the wine down to and including the thyme.
  2. Wash, peel and slice garlic. Add to bowl.
  3. Wash the carrot, peel it, wash again, then slice and add to bowl.
  4. Wash the potato, peel it, wash again, then dice and add to bowl.
  5. Wash the celery, dice it, add to bowl.
  6. Wash the onion, peel it, dice, and add to bowl.
  7. Put a kettle or pot of water on to boil for you to make your beef broth from, if you are using bouillon cubes, powder or liquid. If you're using home-made, start heating it in microwave. Mind the surge when you remove it.
  8. Trim excess fat off beef. Cut into 5 cm (2 inch) chunks. Add to bowl.
  9. Using your clean hands or a very sturdy spoon, mix the contents of the bowl.
  10. Jar size choices: half-litre (1 US pint) or 1 litre (US quart)
  11. Into each warmed jar, put 1 bay leaf, then pack the jar firmly (but not overly tightly) with mixture.
  12. Leave 3 cm (1 inch) headspace.
  13. Add some of the wine sauce from the bowl (but leave enough sauce to go around for all the jars.)
  14. Top up the jars with hot beef broth (or even just plain boiling water is fine.)
  15. Debubble; adjust headspace.
  16. Wipe jar rims.
  17. Put lids on.
  18. Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet.)
  19. Processing time: half- litre (1 US pint) 75 minutes; 1 litre (US quart) 90 minutes.


Reference information

How to pressure can.

When pressure canning, you must adjust the pressure for your altitude.

For salt substitute, Herbamare Sodium-Free was used.


Recipe notes

  • As this is a raw pack, there will be shrinkage during processing. Thus they want you to pack the jar “tightly.” But that doesn’t mean squish it down, either.
  • To be clear, you don’t heat or pre-cook the mixture before packing it in jars. This is a raw pack. Ball says, “These easy raw pack recipes are an innovative way to create delicious ready-to-eat meals for your pantry all year long. Raw ingredients and seasonings are combined, packed in the jar, and covered with hot broth; all of the cooking takes place right in the jar! Note: To ensure proper pressure and temperature is achieved for safe processing, you must process at least 2 quart or 4 pint jars in the pressure canner at one time.”
  • Instead of 2 cloves garlic, you could use 1 teaspoon of minced from a jar.
  • If you think your audience won’t appreciate the wine, you can leave it out and just use more beef broth.


Usage notes

Ball says, “Transfer contents of quart (litre) jar to saucepan and whisk in 2 tablespoons flour until well combined; 1 tablespoon flour for pint (half-litre) jars. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often.”

Instead of simmering in a pot, you could zap in microwave on high for 1 minute, stir, then zap a final 2 minutes. Instead of flour, you could use cornstarch (aka cornflour in the UK.)


Recipe source

Butcher, Meredith L., Ed. The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving. New York: Oxmoor House. 2016. Page 275

Modifications: none





Serving size: 1 cup (250 ml)

Regular version

Per 1 cup (250 ml): 272 calories, 683 mg sodium

Note: does not include any possible sodium from the broth. Allow for that in your mind as well if that matters to you, unless you made your own from scratch salt-free



Salt-free version

Per 1 cup (250 ml): 272 calories, 102 mg sodium



* Nutrition info provided by


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