I thought the butcher gave us a bag of brains when we picked up our quarter cow last month. Everything was packaged and wrapped in white paper, and very nicely labeled. And then there was this clear plastic bag of what seriously looked like a brain. As I started to dig deep and pull my knowledge up from the depths of my college anatomy class, Nic blurts out, “That’s a bag of fat.” A big bag of beautiful tallow!
Well, actually it wasn’t tallow yet. What I had was a big bag of suet, the interior fat tissue of the cow. To get good use out of suet, you first need to gently heat it to remove the fat from the rest of the tissue. This heating and separation process is called “rendering”.
Rendered tallow can be used for many things, including high heat cooking (just like butter and lard) and in beauty products. It’s an excellent remedy for eczema! Click here to get my recipe for Deep Moisturizing Body Salve made with tallow. I recently made a new batch that spreads on your skin more like lotion. I just increased the amount of olive oil in the recipe to make it more spreadable. My skin feels ah-MAH-zing. (Happy Endings, anyone?)
A hunk of suet (2 lbs or so)
Remove any muscle tissue or blood that you can see. Cut the suet into very small pieces or use your food processer to chop it into pieces. The smaller you make the pieces, the shorter the cooking time.
Set your slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Check it periodically and stir. You can turn off your slow cooker when the tissue is golden brown and is separated from the liquid tallow. This took about 6 hours for the amount of tallow I was rendering. Pour through cheesecloth and into a mason jar or other glass storage container. To make sure my tallow was completely smooth (I wanted to use it for lotion), I strained it through a coffee filter. Allow to cool. Store tallow that you plan to cook with in the fridge (it has a very long shelf life). I didn’t bother refrigerating the tallow I’m using in skin products.
Happy tallow rendering!
What types of things do you cook in tallow?PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for us to support our blogging activities, we may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.