7.15.2008

Beef Tallow: How To, Uses, and Where to Buy

Rendered Beef Tallow

In a recent post of mine, Kimi, the Nourishing Gourmet and a fellow gluten free blogger (if I'm not mistaken!) asked how I used beef tallow. I decided that the answer was worthy of a new post:


I must give credit to Ann Marie and my dear friend K.L. for getting me excited about beef tallow. Ann Marie has a great post on cooking french fries in beef tallow (and they were delish, despite the fact that I think I'm intolerant to potatoes. Sigh). My friend K.L. and her husband always cook the most delicious dishes and when I ask what she did the answer always involved beef tallow, butter, and olive oil together. This combo makes up an amazing "base" for sauteeing vegetables (especially onions) and for browning cubed meat that has been brined for several hours. Can we say HEAVENLY?!!


Beef tallow has to be rendered before it can be used. To render beef tallow, you cut it into small pieces and stick in a shallow pan in the oven at 200. Leave for several hours as it "melts". You will have solid "cracklings" left in the bowl which can be eaten plain or on top of salads. The melted tallow can now be transferred to a glass storage container and left in the fridge. I know these directions call for some photographs, and so next time I render I will go back and add them to this post!


What to do with rendered beef tallow?


Rendered tallow, like any saturated fat, is solid but soft at room temp and can be used just as you would use coconut oil or butter. The great thing about tallow is that it actually has a higher smoke point, so it's ideal for deep frying. I used it to make french fries last night (they tasted like real, old fashioned french fries!) and used it today to fry up some vegetable fritters and saute some veggies!


It's a healthy fat and it adds a nice flavor to whatever you are cooking. I would also use it to deep fry anything.


I suppose it could also be used in pie pastry if you were making a savory pie.


Beef tallow comes already rendered for purchase and can also be ordered from US Wellness Meats and Grassfed Traditions. Lonely Lane farms is a local grass-fed farm here in Oregon and they sell their delicious meats weekly at the Beaverton Farmer's Market. By the way, I love Lonely Lane; they are a family operation and they do things very well. Lonely Lane also has opportunities from time to time to purchase beef quarters, and often times you can ask about tallow when you purchase a cow in this way.


Wherever you are, you can find a good grass-feeding farmer at Eat Wild, a very comprehensive website connecting people with local farmers!

12 comments:

Helenrr said...

hey there Carrie, if you are intolerant of potatoes, try sweet potatoes or yams for fries. Not quite the same, but good...and then potatoes are a treat-sometimes foods one is intolerant too or affected by (such as wheat) can be eaten on a "rare" bases. (note, I am on a list that often discusses this concept!) Love, Aunt Helen
p.s. for a lower fat fry, I toss potatoes or sweet potatoes in olive oil and seasonings and arrange on a rack over a cooky sheet. Cook at 425 degrees till done. Yum. :)

Kimi Harris said...

Hey! Thanks for doing a whole post explaining what you use it for. Very helpful. I did use my tallow for a pie crust once,and it turned out fine, but it was a little meaty tasting. I have 100 percent grass fed tallow, however, so this might not always be the case with tallow. My in-laws have made some great french fries with tallow, but it is a bit of work, lol. But you are right, they are great.

I will definitely play around with mine to see how it goes. I wish I could have butter so that I could do the olive oil, butter, tallow combination. That sounds great. I might try ghee instead.

Oh, and by the way, my family does currently have gluten, I just happen to cook a lot of gluten free dishes. :-)

Keep up the great blogging, I have been enjoying your blog! :-)

Kimi Harris said...

Oh, and one more thing, I was asking for feedback for future carnivals on my site here:

http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2008/07/nourishing-frugal-food-recapasking-for.html

Do you have any thoughts for me? I thought that the first part of the carnival last week, went really well and so am exploring other options. :-)

Anonymous said...

The ultimate french fry is fried in beef fat -- twice!

1) Choose an Idaho Russet potato. Russet Burbanks if you can get them.

2) Condition the potato by storing in a 70 degree environment for a couple of weeks (potatoes coming out of cold storage need time to convert sugars back to starch).

3) Cut the potatoes into the desired fry size, like the fast food places do.

4) Soak the cut potato strips in room temperature water for at least 8 hours, overnight is good (this soaking plumps up the cells within the potatoes to result in an improved texture). DO NOT USE ICE WATER OR REFRIGERATE!

5) Dry the potato strips and fry in 300 degree oil until just cooked inside and limp, fry time is dependent on the thickness of the fry strip. Let cool.

6) Bring oil to 375 degrees and fry until golden brown and crispy.

7) Of course, use beef fat, properly twice fried fries will not soak up fat.
What's the point of endeavoring to produce the very best french fry and then compromising the taste with a neutral tasting fry oil.

8) Important, work in controlled sized batches that doesn't drop the frying temperature significantly.
Maintain the fry temp or the fries will absorb fat.

9) Rice Bran Oil is the best alternative to those that have a aversion to beef fat.
In & Out restaurants are noted for excellent fries, they fry in Rice Bran Oil.

Anonymous said...

THE ULTIMATE FRENCH FRIES ARE FRIED IN BEEF FAT
The ultimate french fry is fried in beef fat -- twice!

1) Choose an Idaho Russet potato. Russet Burbank variety if you can get them.

2) Condition the potato by storing in a 70 degree environment for a couple of weeks (potatoes coming out of cold storage need time to convert sugars back to starch).

3) Cut the potatoes into the desired fry size, similar to the fast food places you prefer.

4) Soak the cut potato strips in room temperature water for at least 8 hours, overnight is good (this soaking plumps up the cells within the potatoes to result in an improved texture). DO NOT USE ICE WATER OR REFRIGERATE! The starch will convert back to sugars causing the finished fries to take on a darkened exterior color.

5) Dry the potato strips and fry in 300 degree oil until just cooked inside and limp, fry time is dependent on the thickness of the fry strip. Bite a piece off and taste, if the raw potato taste is absent it's done inside. Let cool.

6) Bring oil to 375 degrees and fry until golden brown and crispy.

7) Of course, fry in beef fat (tallow), properly twice fried fries will not soak up much fat. What's the point of endeavoring to produce the very best french fry and then compromising the taste with a neutral tasting fry oil.

8) Important, work in controlled sized batches that doesn't drop the frying temperature significantly.Maintain the fry temp or the fries will absorb fat.

9) Rice Bran Oil is the best alternative to those that have a aversion to beef fat. In & Out restaurants are noted for excellent fries, they fry in Rice Bran Oil.

liz said...

Will tallow go rancid if left at room temp?

Laura said...

I know this post is really old, but I am hoping you can answer my question. I was looking to order some beef tallow from U.S. Wellness Meats and saw they called it beef tallow shortening. Is this the same thing? I would really appreciate any help. Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Laura, I believe it is. The only difference is that the stuff you get from US wellness meats has already gone through the "baking" process to make the tallow ready to go. If you were to buy beef suet(tallow) that hadn't been processed you would need to bake it first.

Mary Esta Janis said...

Try adding a cup and a half of those cracklins' in your next batch of cornbread. Don't add sugar but a little sea salt & fresh ground black pepper makes it tasty!

Anonymous said...

Happened across this website. Nice post. I was looking for tallow as an ingredient to a leather conditioning solution I am experimenting with. 2 parts clean bees wax; 1 part Beef tallow; 1 part pork fat. I have read that oils work fine on leather, of course, but that this solution is best. We will see. I also use it for elk and deer processing as well. Add 3-5% to the ground burger. Thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

Correction!
25% beeswax
50%t tallow
25% Pork fat
and an oil if you wish in small quantities...Cocoanut oil etc.
Again...I am just experimenting.
Cheers.

Christine said...

I make beef broth with the bones a and oxtails and when I skim of the fat I don't know what to do with it can it be used the same way as rendered fat.

Christine