Thursday, August 29, 2013

Glorious Healthy Beef Tallow!

I embarked on the age old method of rendering and preserving an all natural fat for cooking, baking, and soap making.  Using the fat, or suet, from around the beef kidneys from a beef we recently had butchered, I ended up with 6 lbs of pure white fat with no smell to it whatsoever.  It has a very low burn point, so it makes the best french fries you will EVER taste...yes, better than peanut oil.   This is similar to leaf lard from hogs, but you sure get more for your efforts.

How to Render Tallow
First you must obtain the suet.  Contact a local butcher and ask if they have any on hand, most will not, but will usually save it back from future slaughters and call when they have it.   Once you have it, keep it frozen until ready to render it.   When you are ready, just chop it into small pieces, and toss into a crock pot...set on high for a couple hours, then reduce to low for 4 more hours or so. 
Mash it with a potato masher to break up the fats that are still intact to help them melt faster.  When you feel there is more oil than bits of meat, gristle etc, then ladle it carefully into a paper towel lined colander/mesh strainer.  Return all the bits to the crock pot for a couple more hours on will be surprised how much more oil will render out!  Repeat the straining.  When your oil is hot, pour into cake pans, loaf pan, whatever you have on hand.
I like the tin foil pans, they are flexible and easy to pop out the finished hardened tallow.  Once it's cooled to room temp and semi hard, put into the fridge or freezer to harden it.  Once it's hard, I remove it from the pan/mold and place into zip lock bags for the freezer.  Take out what you need for cooking or soap making and leave the rest in the freezer so it doesn't go rancid.

UPDATE:  I recently rendered the tallow from 4 cows, and netted close to 9 qts.  So I would estimate a couple qts per cow.
  Also, instead of freezing the tallow, I canned it...just pouring hot tallow oil into hot jars with heated lids and letting them self seal.

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