Last Wednesday night Matthew led a fat rendering party to clear out some freezer space. Rendering the fat makes it shelf stable at room temperature (such as ghee and other natural fats), so we can fill the freezer with more pork and beef. Since these animal fats are saturated, the oils are stable and MUCH less likely to go rancid or form trans fats. You can tell how saturated an oil is by looking at what temperature it melts. The slower it is to melt (more solid at room temperature), the more saturated and stable it is.
For the first half of rendering night, we all sat outside and ate, while the fat was heating up inside. Well Matthew did us all the pleasure of deep-frying Cricket Creek hot dogs in some boiling Cricket Creek Farm tallow (beef fat). We called this beef on beef. They were quite tasty. Paul (the Tobasi man), did us the pleasure of bringing a blender into the creamery and concocting fabulous spreadable tobasi from some weak rinded cheeses. So, tobasi-mash on hot dogs and vegetables ensued…
(Nicole also brought some perfectly ripe cantaloupe!)
part deux… after much consumption, we followed our noses to the fat being rendered. Our goal in the rendering process is to separate the fat from any tissue, muscle, or anything else that we don’t want to save. This is what the process looks like – notice the different colors in the jars , a reflection of the different fats and cooking temperatures. Cooking them for so long at high heat is FINE, since unlike soybean oil, canola, corn, or other unstable oils (which would form free radicals), these natural fats are stable even at high temperatures.
What will we do with all this fat? Much of the tallow will likely be used for making soap, and perhaps also candles. The rest of the tallow and lard will be used for sauteing vegetables, making the perfect pie-crust, frying a morning egg, and other feats of delicious cooking. We try to consume as much as we can from the food we produce here on the farm. The natural fats from grass-fed animals keep us full, energized, and positive all day long. These are the fats that humans evolved on. We try to stay away from processed vegetable fats (often full of free radicals and rancid, almost always bleached and perfumed, and dangerously low in omega-6s) that are associated with modern degenerative diseases.
We often have tallow, leaf lard, and back fat for sale in the Cricket Creek Farm store. With winter all these summer vegetables to saute and winter soups on the way, contact us if you would like to purchase some.