Homemade Tallow

On the weekend I thought it would be a great idea to make tallow for the first time, and to clear some space in my freezer by removing the huge bag of grass fed beef fat. Great idea until 8pm when I finally looked at a recipe and discovered that I had to chop the fat up in little pieces and remove any remaining meat, I started chopping but that was as far as I got. Making tallow was then put on Sunday’s to do list, however we ended up being out all day and the fat was again left in the fridge. Finally on Monday night I decided that I really should get it done before the fat goes off, so at 8.30pm last night, I finally started however it was a much longer process then I expected. At 10.30pm I decided it was way past my bed times so the fat that had already melted I strained and put in a container to cool down and the rest I dumped in my slow cooker to simmer away overnight. I think even on low the slow cooker ran a bit hotter then ideal but it was a much easier process then cooking over the stove top and probably much more energy efficient.

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What is tallow? Tallow is simply rendered fat, similar to lard, that isn’t get easily damaged when exposed to heat. Therefore it is perfect for high temperature cooking like frying and roasting. Since making it last night I’ve used it to scramble eggs. I didn’t notice any strong flavour so it might be suitable for use in baked sweet goods in addition to savoury.
Ingredients
  • Grass fed beef fat. If you purchase grass fed beef in bulk like I do then ask the butcher to keep the fat (you may get a few weird looks) or ask your local trusted butcher if you can have the fat off cuts. Most butchers chuck this out so they’ll probably be happy to give it to you for nothing, just ask a few days in advance. If you can’t get grass fed beef fat, then forget it.

  • Large pot or slow cooker
  • Clean glass jar/s for storage
  • Metal sieve and paper towel
Instructions
  1. If the fat is frozen, allow it to thaw enough that chopping it is an easy task.
  2. Chop the fat into small chunks (mine were about 1/2″, next time I would chop them even smaller) and trim off bits of meat, blood and gristle for the dog. Some recipes recommend putting the fat chunks through a food processor until the fat is the consistency of ground meat but I wasn’t keen on this hence why I suggest small pieces.
  3. Place the fat into a slow cooker or large pot for several hours on a very low heat. The fat should just slowly melt with the impurities rising to the top.
  4. Stir occasionally to break up the pieces and to adjust the heat if necessary.
  5. The tallow is done when most of the fat has melted into a clear liquid with crispy bits on top.
  6. Place a single sheet of paper towel in the metal sieve and strain the tallow into a bowl or glass jars.
  7. Once the tallow has cooled and hardened at room temperature, store in the fridge. Tallow can be kept at room temperature for a couple of weeks but will last much longer in the fridge or freezer.
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