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Rendered Beef Tallow. Oh dear, Im turning into Martha Stewart!


I've just rendered my very own, highest grade, beef tallow...  and made my Victorian Great Grandmother, Grace, very proud.
In case you didn’t know, Tallow is beef FAT, in the same way that Lard is pig fat and Duck Fat is, well um... duck fat.
I’m lucky enough to be friends with an awesome woman who just happens to supply local Cape Town restaurants with the most amazing Wagyu beef (gold mine as friends go, right?)
 
For those of you who are not yet familiar with this wonder-of- nature,  it is a breed of cattle that originates in Japan where it is  known as ‘Kobe beef’. Kobe Beef is Wagyu [pronounced ‘wag-you’] that comes from the Kobe region in Japan. Here they are regarded as a national treasure (it’s that good) and for many years only the Emporor, his family and his Samurai could eat Wagyu beef. It is rumoured that they fed these treasured beasts a strict diet, including beer, and washed them with the Japanese rice wine, Sake, spat by monks (yes, spat on, with sake, by monks – how delightful). That’s how much they love their cows.
Well, not sure if they do that here in the Free State, but these beauties, now farmed locally, are (more importantly) fed a wholesome diet that does not contain any animal by-products or growth stimulants, and they are not given routine antibiotics. All the beef is certified and can be traced back to the original farm. It’s important to know where your produce comes from and how they treat their animals. We want foods that are healthy and produced responsibly and humanely, right?

But why is it so tasty, and nutritious? Why is it the ‘bees knees’?
These Wagyu cattle produce world classs tender, flavoursome and succulent beef due to its unique marbling which dissolves and melts during cooking giving the beef its tenderness and flavour.
Marbling refers to the little specks of fat dispersed in the lean tissue that results in the tastiest stuff around. The Japanese Wagyu is the highest marbling breed in the world.
Whats so great about marbling?
The marbling is the fabulously high fat content that is made up of mono-unsaturated fats and possesses a uniquely high concentration of omega 3 fatty acids. We need omega 3’s in food to assist in immune resistance, vision, building cell membranes, blood clotting and blood pressure as well as protection against heart disease, arthritis, depression, Alzheimer, high blood pressure as well as having anti-carcinogenic properties.
And this beef contains a much higher proportion of these desirable mono-unsaturated fats than any other beef. That’s why it’s so good for you (and tastes so damn divine).
So, if it’s the fat in the steak that is actually what makes it so tender, and so tastey, and so healthy, how can I get more of it without having to increase my protein quota per serving? Well, you get your hands on some of that delish fat and you render it (which is a posh way of saying you melt it into a jar) into a spreadable, scoopable, and yes, lickable beef tallow used for healthy frying and cooking.
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(Pssssst... I have found a super deli based in Newlands, Cape Town,  where you can, in fact, buy beautiful grass fed beef fat just for this purpose. Check out Gogo's Deli, I spoke to Dedire, and she confirmed that if you ask for it, she can get it for you! This is the real deal people!

And, although I pondered whether to keep my friend and her Wagyu all to myself, I realised it would be jolly nice of me to share and spread the fat, um, I mean, the lurve... and because she is just so darn lovely, she's happy for you to buy directly from her offices. Oh, and tell her Nourishing Nibbles sent you... 
You can reach Blake's Fine Foods HERE. You're welcome.)

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**Vegans, Vegetarians and the Squeamish, look away now... this is not for nancy's...
I know this is not attractive, but just think of the possibilities...
A 1kg chunk of this amazing fat rendered almost two litres of the liquid stuff. I poured some into a little jar for use this week, and the rest into ice cube trays and froze it into single serving chunks for future.
So when I need to fry up some onions or cauli-rice, or chops, or a fried egg, I just pop one of these bad-boy-blocks out the freezer and into my pan... voila! Healthy, delicious and bursting with incredible flavour.
Here’s how:

Tip: Once you have managed to buy some of the good stuff from your local butcher, store it in the fridge until you are ready to get at it, otherwise it can go rancid.
Start by chopping up the fat into blocks roughly the size of ice blocks. This will make the melting go quicker.

 
Place fat chunks  into your large stock-pot and turn heat onto a gentle medium-to-low heat and allow the melting to begin, lid off [This could also be done in a slow cooker or even in the oven].
That’s it. Nothing else added. It might need a stir in the beginning after 10 minutes or so, in case it wants to stick to the bottom.  You can see the ‘oil’ start releasing very soon and the pieces of fat getting smaller and crispier.

After 30 minutes
Once the pieces are small and crunchy looking and the oil is starting to get darker turn off the heat and allow to cool.

Almost done
*This oil will be insanely hot so please be careful around pets and children.
Now we want to strain out the crunchy bits and decant into jars or ice trays and eventually refridgerate and/or freeze. A leeeeeetle patience is required, you cannot pour hot oil into cold jars, plastic colanders or anything else that doesn’t like quick heat. [It will, however, solidify at room temperature, so don’t leave to cool for too long, it should still be a pouring consistency].
Place your colander/pasta strainer over a large bowl and a clean tea towel or muslin cloth in your colander.  Pour the cooled, liquid gold oil through the cloth and colander to strain. I let it cool for a little longer until I was able to squeeze the cloth and get every last drop. But this is messy on your hands so use gloves, or skip this step, I just wanted every... last... drop.
Now you can pour into a jug and decant elegantly into (clean and dry) glass jars, or silicone ice trays for convenient single size servings.


If you are using a large jar, the fat does solidify in the fridge and can be slightly hard to scoop out. It should be fine to keep it on your counter at room temperature for a few days, or in the fridge overnight and on counter to soften during the day. Otherwise, I suggest decanting into smaller jars, keeping one on your counter to last the week and the rest in the fridge. If your jar was clean and dry (not too much to ask?) your tallow could last a year in the fridge...bonus.

 
The crunchy crumbly bits left in your muslin cloth can be snacked on like crackling, if you are wicked like me, otherwise discard them.

 
This is a really cost effective excercise as it is so much cheeper than frying everything in butter or coconut oil, which I now only use for 'pimping' my Butter & Egg CoffeeChai Tea and similarly, hot chocolate. And my other expensive Olive Oil is now only for drizzling over my salad and veges, oh and making my 30-Second Mayonnaise. Now there is absolutely no reason to use toxic seed oils like canola or sunflower anymore.
Now go, my little Martha Stewarts, go and make your Great Granny’s proud and render your own healthy tallow!
Let me know how it goes...
Much Love, Gratitude and Happy Nibbling

xox

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Anonymous said…
Hello Nourishing Nibbles in the Cape...

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