Sunday, April 8, 2012

Rendering Tallow

 This year I have been attempting to do a better job of using what I have (and buying little) and that prompted me to find out more about using beef tallow in my cooking and baking. I had requested tallow when we got our beef (we buy 1/2 of a grass fed, hormone free, natural beef) but then had left it in the freezer not quite sure what to do with it. It was time something was done!

I did a little research on how to render it and then I went to work (using bits and pieces of what I had read and did it my way). I don't think this will ever be my favorite job but it went fine and I feel very happy to have it done.

 I chopped my big bunch of tallow up into fairly small chunks- taking out any yucky, meaty chunks that I found.

 Then I put it in the crockpot, put the lid on and turned it on low. It took quite a few hours to cook down and every so often I would take my potato masher and do some mashing on it to help get it broken up.
 When it looked pretty cooked down then I strained it using a fairly fine meshed strainer. I strained it into a bowl and then promptly moved it to jars.

  They hardened up fairly fast and I can see now how you can use it to make candles.
I have also found it to work quite nicely in baking (especially bread!) though I do have to soften it in order to use it.

  I am storing some of it in the fridge and the rest in the freezer.

  Though I find this to smell a bit it really is not bad to work with.

I like using it because for me it is basically free (I can get it along with the beef at no additional cost) and according to books like Nourishing Traditions this is actually a healthy fat. Since oils (especially healthy oils) are so expensive, I am happy to find some economical healthy fat!

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Sarah @ Sarahndipities said...

This is really interesting. I've wondered about tallow myself...maybe I'll try doing some of this myself!

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

Thanks for sharing this, Abbi! I really need to give this a try. I've purchased 1/2 a cow and am just waiting... so when the butcher calls, I'm going to have to remember to have him throw in the tallow.


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