Sunday, January 24

tallow, oh my! what have i done?

*spoiler alert *warning* gross pics to follow
Seriously, I had an excess of fat, lots of beef fat. Ick. It makes me realise why I usually hate cooking meat. All that grease. Our carbon footprint at Chez Pan has been getting a bit more of a meat driven workout; the meat we have just started to buy is high quality and incredibly cost effective and can keep in the freezer for ages if vacuum packed. Our stsh has been eaten at a rather rapid rate - it must be all that meat deprivation thats been going on for quite a while in this normally vego household! It has to stop soon. She says drooling at the memory of a parmigiana.

Anyway, after another delivery of a fabulous beef rump by the Gnomes, I trimmed and portioned into into various cuts leaving me with a great pile of beef fat. Last time I did this the Gnomes were here and took the fat home for their chooks. This time no Gnomes. What to do with all that fat?

Compost it? nup

Feed it to the cat? nup

Bin it? ugh nup

So I bit the bullet and made some tallow. I just couldnt toss it. Tallow! Yikes. So I chopped it into small pieces, put it into a pan, covered with water and boiled it for about 30 minutes. Gross. Needin a shower right about now.Boiled meat stinks, the worst smell in the world I reckon and our kitchen fan is busted too! Double ick. I scooped out all the chunky, browned bits then i forgot to strain it and left it in the fridge to set hard.
When set, I cut the hard disk of fat in half and removed it from the pan. Underneath the layer of set tallow was a clear gelatinious layer and underneath that a layer or purplish sludge. dont ask! I washed the tallow under running water, rubbing off gently the jelly and the tiny fat balls and impurities that were on the undersides of the pieces.
I will probably ues it for some soap, beef tallow makes lovely big bubbled soap or some candles. What do you think? What to do with the leftover, very unappetising gristly,fatty meaty bits? Ive put them in the freezer to whizz up with bird seed to keep the native finches with a supply of fat which they find tricky to source mid-winter. Not my most favourite way to spend an afternoon but hey, that cow and its bits need some respecting right?


Veggie Gnome said...

Right! :)

It's good to have chooks. They love the fat and reward you with great eggs.

Tallow. Soap. Good idea. It may smell. I can smell lard in my soap. But hey! I totally and whole-heartedly applaud you for all the work. Would do the same.

Wanna have a soap making session when you have time? :) How much tallow did you get?

belinda said...

Congrats on the tallow,

Ewww, there really is no smell quite like that of boiling meat. That is one of those jobs that I think I would have to take outside as it has rather nasty ramifications for me in an enclosed area.

Kind Regards

Julie said...

Great work! Don't know if I could do it myself (I have a hair-trigger gag reflex lol), but LOVE the constructive use of the leftovers... Is the gelatinous layer actually gelatine?

Tricia said...

Your food photos are looking seriously good these days. I cannot belive you made tallow look good.

Katy said...

Brilliant! You are so clever - kinda freaks me out but I hadn't really thought of doing that before. Now I get the pioneer woman comment.

Kelly said...

veggie- right! next time Im not letting you leave without the fat! Imade about 500g Id guess. not much, but enough for a few bars if mixed with other stuff!! soap making sounds good- you a lye soapie or non?

belinda-rankcomes to mind. poor B2,being the total vego/almost vegan she was not impressed.

julie- thanks, impressedf myself! lol well it must be a form of gelatine..but not as setting as the stuff from feet!

tricia- thanks, anything can look nice given the right lighting and angle!

katy- thanks but it only took time not brains! and a bit of willpower! Im looking forward to cleaning the sheeps wool! old urine may beat in the rank factor! lol

Gavin said...

Kel, What a coincidence! I was thinking about how to make sustainable soap today and tallow came foremost to mind. I remember my mum performing the same process when I was a kid.

Not sure what she used it for, probably cooking is my guess.


Veggie Gnome said...

We'd have gladly taken the fat. We usually cut it up in small bits and freeze in portions. Then take out to give as treats to the chooks.

Lye for soap - there is no way around that. It took me years to muster the courage to take up soap making. Mainly due to my worry about lye. It's no big deal, if you are sensible about handling it.

Kelly said...

gav- probably lard for cooking! its my memory of childhood too-bowl of white fat in the fridge-i used to think it ws disgusting!

veggie- i know, next time your enot leaving with out it!