I think all our meat is grass fed, but I was just wondering, as i cannot seem to buy lard here, and I thought I would try rendering my own fat in a crock pot, would one be best to use beef, pork or mutton fat for rendering.
I have to source my fat yet, but at least asking here first I would know what to ask for!
I've never rendered lamb/mutton suet, but I regularly render beef tallow and lard - the process itself is not at all dissimilar, although you get slightly different results; tallow is hard at room temperature (more saturated fat), and lard will remain solid but soft, even refrigerated (more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats). Lard definitely has a more delicate taste, and I find it is interchangeable with butter in many dishes. Tallow has a more distinct flavor and is excellent for deep-fat frying or browning beef at higher temperatures.
Wow,..I was literally typing a very similar question when I saw yours pop up - figured I should erase mine. I just spent several hours sorting through two sets of pig goodies from a butcher for raw feeding the dogs and have a couple bowls full of fat. Have never rendered before was thinking of trying.
Anyone any tips or websites you like about rendering fat?
Cow or lamb suet gives you tallow, and pig fat gives you lard. Tallow and lard are two different products with different flavors, and I don't consider one better than the other (but I've never tried lamb tallow).
I've made tallow from cow suet once. All I did was put it my slowcooker for about 12 hours. It came out good for my first time.
I render pork fat often. It is organic and free! from my local organic pig farm. I put it through a mincer (grinder) and tip the resulting mass into a slow cooker, switch it on low and leave it until it is clear and the little pieces of fat don't look as though they have much more to give up.
It is a sort of lemony colour hot, but cools down to a pure white lard - delicious.
I recently rendered beef suet to get some tallow for the first time. It struck me halfway through that rendering fat is basically distillation but one phase down, solid to liquid separation rather than liquid to gas separation. Kinda cool.
Anyway, the way I rendered the suet was to cut it in a semi-frozen state into half inch cubes. This took at least 30 minutes with about 5 or 6 lbs. or suet. Don't try shredding it in a food processor. It turned my processor into a paperweight and the motor into shrapnel. Just cut it by hand. Next, just toss it on the stove near the lowest setting or in the oven at about 200 degrees F and wait until the suet reduces into a shriveled, brown cracklin'. At this point, you've got about all the fat rendered from the surrounding connective tissue that you can possibly separate. Just strain the contents of the pot/pan into your storage container, and voila, you have the best possible cooking fat for vegetables. The rendering took somewhere between an hour and 2 hours. I ended up with maybe 4 or 5 cups of tallow from 5ish lbs. I made a Thai coconut curry out of beef and vegetables roasted in the tallow tonight. Un-goddamn-believable. Totally worth the rendering process. Plus, it smelled amazing the whole time it was rendering. They should make a beef tallow Yankee candle.
I render beef suet to tallow regularly. I chop it up into chuncks smaller than 1" sqaure, toss in large soup pot, and pop in the oven at ~245 degrees F. In ~12+ hours the pieces of fat will have turned brown and sunk and any water will have evaporated. Don't go over this temp or the cracklings will burn and impart a burnt popcorn like flavor in the tallow. Then, just filter through paper towel with a funnel as you pour it off into containers.
Duck fat is great stuff, especially cooking organ meats, well, for cooking everything! :)
In beef ,for nutrition, pastured marrow fat must be the best stuff. Its softer than muscle fat so its easier to get out of jar fridge cold :)