Saturday, October 11, 2008

More on rendering beef fat........

I was able to pick up another 9lb pack of beef fat strips tonight so I thought I would share more about rendering it. First, it's free so it makes this all the more fun for me! Second, it's supposed to be better for you than manufactured 'fats' and there's nothing added to it, such as preservatives. Some of you may even be able to get 'organic' etc. The best here, so far, is some 'grain fed'.

Ok, to start with, it's's usually long strips with some meat but mostly fat and it resembles real thick slices of bacon or rib meat. DH asked if he could have a piece to throw on the grill 'just to see' what would happen. No, you can't -smack! .....If you notice in the pic, some of it is thick and almost a solid white color. That's the real good stuff but other bits may be a bit different in looks and texture. Just cut it all up in blocks. (click to enlarge if you want a closer look at how I cut it up and what it looks like)
If you really wanna be super frugal, I mean make the most out of this stuff, you can try trimming some of the meat off. If nothing else, it would be good for flavoring a long simmered soup. But, you do not have to trim the red meat off. It will cook and then be strained off.
Once you've cut the fat into chunks, run it through your processor. It makes a pretty pink mousse looking stuff. DH said it looked like strawberry ice cream! (Maybe I should have fed him before I started this.) Put a little water in the bottom of your pot and turn on the heat from low to medium. You will want to gradually melt the fat, raising the temp is fine once it has started to melt and you have all your fat chopped up.

Keep chopping the fat and adding to your pot. Here's a closer look at that pretty pink stuff.

If you can see, my hand is greasy from touching this. Just running it through the food processor seems to begin bringing out exactly what I'm after!

Now, here's the pot after I have filled it with the ground fat. No, that's not water, that's the fat melted. I wanted you to see the brown stuff in it. It's normal so don't panic. It's just the meat particles.
See? It sorta looks like ground hamburger meat, don't you think?
Yeah, it's okay. Once all pink is gone and you've brought the temp up to a simmer, stirring constantly once you raise the heat; you'll want to simmer for about 5 minutes to make sure all the fat has melted and also the bit of water added will likely cook off.
Then, in a non-plastic strainer, lined with a coffee filter or paper towel, strain the fat into a bowl. (My beagle-dogs outside, love the leftovers!)

And this is what you will have! A nice oil that will solidify once it has cooled. It will be very similar to lard or shortening.
See? Pretty, huh? Cooks great! I fried okra in it the other night! Yummy! Great flavor, no smoke, no burn, no wacky chemicals!
And- it's free! I mean frugal!


Extraordinary Ordinary Life said...

So would this be considered lard? Also, what do you do with it just use it in cooking?

Donna said...

It's not exactly lard since lard is pork BUT it is like pork in texture and it's uses. You could use it just like lard; frying, baking (it would make great savory pie crusts), in cornbreads, I used a dab of it to brown ground turkey in the other day and it made it taste just like beef, ..lots of uses.

The proper name for it is 'edible beef tallow' I think. Most old books call it tallow. :-)

Deirdre said...

I had been searching for an easy recipe for edible beef tallow for a beef patty pastry crust and I stumbled upon this one. I just made this for the first time today & the tallow came out smooth and creamy. Plus, it actually tastes good - if you can imagine that. This is a great recipe and how to -the pictures are on point! I must say, your method is fantastic and is sooo much easier & faster than other recipes I have seen. Thank you so much for this. One question: For the strainer part did you mean to write use a "nonplastic" instead of "nonmetal" strainer? I used a metal wire mesh strainer lined with a nylon strainer bag and it came out fine. I will add myself as a follower on your blog! Happy New Year!

Donna said...

I'm so glad you showed me that!
Yes, I did mean nonplastic because of how hot oil gets! Thank U!

I use this fat quite often. I grease my cast iron with it, use some in cornbread and biscuits with half butter, I saute veggies with it sometimes, I use it in the place of oil in flatbread and some other breads, and there's been times when I've been out of other fats that I've even used it in baked goods- once in gingerbread cookies...but, without the spices, I probably wouldn't have been able to cover the taste!

Another bonus for me- I can get it free!

Thank you for posting on this and for following my blog!

Happy New Year to U 2!