Home grown animal fats.
Fat is an essential part of your nutritional needs. The easiest way to produce these fats on your land is through saturated animal fats. The rise in popularity of the Keto and Paleo diets has seen resurgence in the amount of people choosing to consume highly nutritious fats. Primarily these fats are animal sourced, tallow, lard, duck, goose and chicken fat, butter, but there is also coconut oil and olive oil (Olive oil is lower in saturated fat and should be for uncooked use only). There are many studies which show that cooking with these fats is much healthier than the highly processed vegetable oils most people favour. Butter is considered a wonder food, high in fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, K and E and has many other benefits.
The emergence of many studies which are pro saturated fat has led many, many people to question the medical worlds stance on it. This includes promoting substances like margarine which many studies now show is detrimental to your health. What an upside-down world we live in…
Here’s a couple of You Tube videos to explain this further…
Butter vs Margarine, Dr Ken Berry https://youtu.be/P-Ma-r3YPYQ
SATURATED FAT DANGERS + Q&A https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI92VHEmSb0
We will stick to our home grown natural saturated fats from animals raised in a clean environment.
Here’s a break down of the various animals fats and terms…
Lard is pork fat; it is stable and a preferred fat for frying. Lard can come from any part of the pig that has a high concentration of fatty tissue. Leaf lard is a high-grade lard which comes from the cavity fat surrounding the kidneys and loin. Often unrendered lard is added to other meats in sausage making to increase the fat content. Rendered Leaf lard is a popular fat for pie crusts and lard was used in many countries as a spread on bread.
Tallow is the fat of beef and mutton, very stable and can be used for frying. Tallow is usually rendered from the suet fat of the animal.
Dripping is the fat left after roasting. It is poured into a storage container (which was often a tin can or mug) and kept for cooking other foods.
Bacon fat is often saved from cooking bacon and used to cook other foods as it imparts the bacon flavour into them.
Suet is the cavity fat of the animal which surrounds the kidneys etc. it has a high smoke point and is very stable. The raw suet is chopped up finely and slowly melted at low heat. Once melted it is strained and put into a sterilised jar, can be stored in a cool place for a year. Suet can be used for frying, deep frying or baking, it is traditionally used in short crust pastry, baked puddings and dumplings.
Duck and Goose fat is semi solid at room temperature, quite stable. With a high smoke point they are good for frying and sautéing and have a rich flavour. Rendering can be achieved by slow roasting a whole duck or goose and cutting or pricking the skin often to release more fat. Strain the fat and store in a sterilized jar in the fridge or freeze for up to a year.
Chicken fat or Schmaltz is widely used for frying, stews and roasts or as a spread on bread in Kosher kitchens. It is made from the rendered fat of chicken either from slowly cooking the skin and fat or pouring off the fat from roasting chicken. Another method is to skim the schmaltz from the surface of broth once it has cooled. Strain the fat and store in a sterilized jar in the fridge for up to 6 months or freeze for up to a year.
Caul or lace fat, this is the fine webbing fat which covers the internal organs of animals such as sheep, pigs, cattle and deer etc. It can be removed carefully and is then washed by placing in a colander and thoroughly rinsing with cold water. If it retains a slight ‘innards’ smell the caul can be soaked in water with vinegar or lemon juice, then rinsed again. Dry the caul before using or freezing. Caul is used to wrap meat to retain moisture and shape, often used with ground or lean meat.
Butter is made by churning cream until the fat separates from the buttermilk, it is then strained and washed to remove all trances of buttermilk. The butter fats are then salted if desired and “worked” or “patted” by pressing and kneading together. This process shapes the butter but also helps remove any residual buttermilk or water. Butter can be stored in the fridge for a couple of weeks, at room temp for a couple of days and for about 9 to 10 months if frozen. Make sure butter is well wrapped or in an airtight container to avoid taste contamination from strong smelling food like onions.
Ghee or clarified butter is produced by melting butter gently until the water content has evaporated and the solids have separated. The whey proteins will float and are skimmed off, the casein sinks and is left behind when the butterfat (Ghee) is poured off. Ghee has a higher smoke point than butter making it good for sautéing, it also has a much longer shelf life of approx. one year if stored under 21°C. With only negligible amounts of lactose and casein it is more acceptable to people who are intolerant of these components.
(Stable means the fat is not affected by oxidisation which is one of the main causes deterioration in food. Stable fat is solid at room temperature)
For more info on rendering fat and food preservation in fat…