A staple in our kitchen, and my go to secret ingredient when something needs a bit of a kick is my jar of Fabulous Fat.
I know that animal fat has gained a reputation for being a bad guy in the standard diet, and that many claim it is something that should be avoided at all costs.
However, I personally feel that fat rendered from organic free range meats can actually be beneficial and I do not have a problem using it in moderation.
Here’s how we collect and use it:
1. After browning or cooking, pour off the fat into a pint sized glass jar, straining the drippings.
2. Don’t worry about separating the bacon fat from the beef, the chicken from the lamb. Allowing them all to mingle and marry together creates a wonderful flavor. In his cookbook The Farm , Ian Knauer recommends placing the jar in warm water every other week or so to allow the fats to better blend. I have to confess that I rarely remember to do this and just use it as is.
3. Use a tablespoon here and there for browning and sauteing meat, onion, vegetables, or for roasting potatoes.
Use to finish a dish such as roasted vegetables, or add a dallop to a pot of hot soup to give a rich flavor.
Husbie likes to smear a bit on hamburger buns before toasting and adding his burger. He mentioned that I should let you know though that fat is flammable. We use a toaster oven and watch it carefully. I would not advise slathering a bun in fat and then sticking it in a pop up toaster.
4. Take care not to let the fat smoke when using it in food preparation.
5. Keep refrigerated. If used often the fat should not turn rancid and will keep indefinitely. Do smell it before each use to make sure though.
Note: I make considerable effort to use only the fat that comes from grass fed, free range animals. Fat rendered from grass fed cows contains the right proportions of omega 3 and omega 6, while pork fat from pastured pigs can be an excellent source of Vitamin D.
You can read more about my thoughts on fat here in a post on making your own butter.
I also recommend the book Nourishing Traditions which will give much more information on good fats in greater detail.
Also, come back on Tuesday when I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Traditional Foods.
How to you feel about using animal fat in your cooking?
What sorts of fat do you use and what kinds to you avoid?
…and here is a link to Nourishing Traditions which will give much more detailed info on good fats in the diet.
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You can find this post and others like it linked to: The Homestead Barn Hop, Homemade Mondays, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, The HomeAcre Hop, Tutorials Tips and Tidbits, From the Farm Fridays, The Modern Homesteaders Hop