Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How to Render Fat

Here is my suggestions for rendering fat, although there are some variations on this and you could check the web for others.

I usually buy 2 kilos at a time of port back fat or beef suet. Some butchers sell “grated” suet, it is more expensive but it comes in little granule that you can add direct to your cooking. I prefer to do the rendering myself and save the money.

I like to put the fat in the oven in a large/deep baking tray and cover it with another baking tray to stop it spattering everywhere. I cook it at about 150 Celesius for about 40 – 60 mins. Basically just keep checking it and when there is a nice pool of fat at the bottom of the pan you can pour it off into some jars. Then stick it back in the oven to cook some more and you will usually end up with another pool of fat that you can pour off. This process can be continued several times but the fat at the end starts to become a little browner and I like my lard/tallow to be white.

The jars you use need to made of nice thick glass with wide necks. Any mayonnaise or pickles jars will do the trick. I tried using some glass jars that I had bought at a discount store and they broke when I poured the hot fat in. The sides where obviously too thin.

You also need to sterilize the jars before putting the fat in, and it is a good idea to put the fat into a warm jar anyway, so the way I sterilize them is to just lay them on their sides, (without lids) in the oven for a few minutes before I am ready to pour the fat. They get hot really quickly so when you pull them out use an oven mitt.

I just place them in the sink on a couple of paper towels and then pour the fat in. The paper towels catch any drips.

Leave them on the bench for several hours until cooled and then refrigerate the lard (from pork) and the tallow (from Beef) can be left in a cool place – although I do put mine in the fridge.

Now is the fun part the cleaning up. I usually get fat on everything. LOL. Dump out the big grizzly lump of fat that is left, into the bin. Then wipe out the fat tray using a paper towel. I then also use my enjo grease mitt to get the last of the grease off and then was with soapy water.

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