Homemade preserves: the basic rules according to chef Yves Camdeborde

Lcanned food has been in the spotlight since the cases of botulism recorded in Bordeaux and Île-de-France in recent days. One person died and others were placed in intensive care or continuing care units. Traditionally synonymous with conviviality and pleasure at the table, sauce dishes, soups and other canned terrines meet strict preparation rules. Although older generations used them a lot, home canned goods went out of fashion a little before returning to our kitchens, particularly during the Covid health crisis.

Practical and economical, their implementation also meets the challenges of the moment. “This allows us to avoid waste and have seasonal products all year round,” explains Yves Camdeborde, media chef from Pau and king of bistronomy, who sold his Parisian restaurant Le Comptoir du relay last summer. Author of the book Store, cook!released at the end of 2022 by Albin Michel, the former juror of the TV show Masterchef reminds us of the basic rules for making homemade preserves safely.

Homemade preserves: the choice of products

This seems obvious but it is worth remembering that to make good preserves, you need… good products. “Top quality, even,” insists the chef, “extremely fresh.” This is the basis. » Yves Camdeborde allows himself to work on a wide variety of recipes in this way. “The most delicate thing is the rice. Rice pudding for example, I’ve never been able to do it, it becomes mushy. Same thing for pasta. If you want to preserve Bolognese pasta, it is better to only prepare and jar the sauce and cook the pasta separately, at the last minute. »

Homemade preserves: clean the jars thoroughly

“Hygiene is essential throughout the process,” insists the cook. “Empty jars must be systematically boiled. We put them in a saucepan or pot and cover them with cold water. We bring to the boil, let it boil for two minutes and, when the temperature of the water has dropped sufficiently, we collect them and put them to drain. » It is possible to use either jars with screw lids or jars with elastic. “But in this case, you also have to boil the elastic,” he explains, “and change it each time you use it. By using it twice, you take a risk. »

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Homemade preserves: be careful with the filling

Soup, beef bourguignon… Whatever the recipe to be canned, it is important to carefully pour the preparation into the jar. “The best is to use a special funnel,” recommends Yves Camdeborde. This helps avoid splashing onto the edge. You can fill them with a spoon but you must be very careful to ensure that the walls remain clean. » Likewise, you must scrupulously respect the maximum filling level of the jar. “It is generally indicated by a line that must not be exceeded for sterilization to go well. »

Homemade preserves: sterilization and storage rules

Once the jar is closed, the whole thing must be sterilized. “The ideal is to use a sterilizer. Failing this, place the jars next to each other in a large pot, cover with water, at least 2 cm above the last jar, bring to the boil and leave to boil over medium heat for an hour. » And if you use jars with a capacity greater than one liter, the chef recommends increasing the sterilization time, absolutely following the instructions in the product technical sheet. “Once this operation is completed, in the same way as for the empty jars, we let the temperature of the water drop until we can put our hand in it, and we remove them. » After drying and labeling the canned goods, “store them in a dry place, away from light and at a reasonable room temperature, in the cellar for example. In these conditions, they can be kept for a year without problem. »

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Home-canned food: suspicious signs that should alert you

Vigilance remains essential until the moment of tasting, he reminds. “If you notice a significant variation in color, or a strange shade, there is a problem, and you should definitely not consume the product. Just the visual alone gives an indication. Likewise, if the lid of the screw-top jars is bulging, you don’t eat. Everything goes in the trash! And the same when opening: at the slightest suspicious smell, we throw it away! »

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