Farming forum: Beef tallow

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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Aug 21, 2012 2:33 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I wanted to share. We slaughtered a cow yesterday and I was shocked at how much fat was in this beast. Not willing to let anything go to waste, we took out about 10 gallons of fat. 7 gallons were frozen for later use and I rendered down the remaining 3 gallons.

After rendering the fat into oil, I then screened out all the left-over stuff (which the chickens were thrilled to eat) and poured the oil through a very fine screen. That was then left to settle and then the top clean oil was again decanted into another container. That was then allowed to settle again and then another pour off one final time.

The result is the absolute purest and cleanest tallow I've ever seen and I'm proud of my work. Trish will use this tallow in her soap making and we will also use it for all the other uses you would imagine tallow is good for.

Thumb of 2012-08-21/dave/5ccd0c Thumb of 2012-08-21/dave/13285b Thumb of 2012-08-21/dave/efe1c2

In that photo of the jar, if you look closely at the bottom you can see (appearing upside down) the stock pot behind it showing through the oil.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Aug 21, 2012 5:19 PM CST
Very neat, Dave. I have been wanting to try my had at making some good old lye soap like my gradma used to make. I watched her make it some, but don't have the recipe. Would you have a source for one? I don't want the fancy soaps like the recipes I find on line, I want the old lye soap that she used to wash her cloths with. I have some redered hog fat I want to use for this. I found a source for the lye, which is getting scarce, as I guess it's used in making drugs now. I just need a good recipe.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Aug 22, 2012 8:16 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

I don't have any recipes - never made it and Trish does it behind a closed door and I don't think her recipes are very simple. Smiling This looks like a useful thread about it, though: http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/country-homemaking/soapmaki...
Name: Kathleen Tenpas
Wickwire Corners NY (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! The WITWIT Badge Raises cows Region: New York Farmer
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Kathleen
Aug 22, 2012 5:57 PM CST
Want my grandmother's recipe for suet pudding?

Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Aug 22, 2012 8:07 PM CST
Ewwww!
Porkpal
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Aug 23, 2012 4:30 AM CST
I would love to have your recipe Kathleen.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Kathleen Tenpas
Wickwire Corners NY (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! The WITWIT Badge Raises cows Region: New York Farmer
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Kathleen
Aug 23, 2012 7:12 AM CST
Grandmama's Suet Pudding

1 cup suet
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sour milk
1 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon soda
flour to make stiff

bake in oven proof bowl at 350F for 1 hour

serve warm with hard sauce
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
mix with cold water to a thin sauce, bring to boil and add about 1 tablespoon butter. Thin with hot water if necessary

It's a little heavy, but lovely as a Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert.

Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Aug 23, 2012 7:39 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

It sounds intriguing, Kathleen. Thank you for sharing!
Name: Kathleen Tenpas
Wickwire Corners NY (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! The WITWIT Badge Raises cows Region: New York Farmer
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Kathleen
Aug 23, 2012 7:50 AM CST
It was one of my favorites when I was a kid, but we only had it in the winter and usually only at Christmas, my mother's version of plum pudding, I guess. The nutmeg in the sauce is what really sells it.

Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Aug 23, 2012 9:25 AM CST
Thanks Kathleen for sharing, I'll have to try that this winter. I'd guess one could add any number of dried fruits, even nutmeats. Will have to experiment with it. That hard sauce is the same one that my family puts on bread pudding.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Aug 23, 2012 11:12 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Do you chop or dice the suet up? I'm imagining a cup of unrendered fat and thinking it should be diced or something.
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Aug 23, 2012 1:05 PM CST
We used to be able to get the butcher to grind it for us. Kidney fat was the best. Great for mince meat also. My Mother made rum sauce.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Kathleen Tenpas
Wickwire Corners NY (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! The WITWIT Badge Raises cows Region: New York Farmer
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Kathleen
Aug 23, 2012 1:12 PM CST
mom said to grind the suet. Not actually much different from butter when you think about it.

Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Aug 23, 2012 7:25 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I tip my hat to you.
Name: Phillip
brayton tn. (Zone 7b)
Region: United States of America Canning and food preservation Garden Ideas: Level 1
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homeshow
Nov 20, 2012 12:25 PM CST
I use tallow in my soaps also. Plain with just water and lye it has a slightly beefy smell. Only to me my wife and friends can't smell it. The smell disappears when you add any tea instead of water. Like lavender or mint teas in my soaps.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Feb 6, 2013 8:27 PM CST
We used to call it mincemeat pie. No meat, but suet. I love that pie. The stuff you get in the store now is not the true thing.

Dave, your tallow is beautiful, best I've seen.
[Last edited by valleylynn - Feb 6, 2013 8:27 PM (+)]
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So Cal (Zone 10b)
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OldGardener
Aug 29, 2013 12:17 PM CST
Dave - exceptional tallow! I rendered down some pork fat years ago but your tallow definitely puts my efforts at lard to shame. If I may ask, it looks like you dry rendered your fat - is there a benefit to dry rendering vs wet rendering? Do you think one way is easier than the other? In your opinion, are the final results better with dry rendering?

As you may have guessed, I am dry rendering some beef fat right now. We started smoking a nice hunk of beef last night and, after prepping/cleaning it, I had to give this a try again (plus it is a great excuse to make cracklins later today Smiling )
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Aug 30, 2013 11:33 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Well, that's a good question. The reason why I did dry rendering is because it's the only way I've ever known. In fact, I've not heard of wet rendering before today. Melting down fat and straining it out (which is, I suppose, what dry rendering is) has always produced excellent results for me. It's also how I render my butter into ghee. But it is time consuming and prone to accidental burning if you aren't watching it very closely. I can definitely see why wet rendering is preferred by many. I think I'll try that method next time and see how I like it.

I love to connect closely to the food I prepare and I take great pride in good results, especially when it comes from things I have grown myself, and rendering fat into tallow (or lard) is a special event for me that I relish. I'm looking forward to trying this other method next slaughter.
Name: Phillip
brayton tn. (Zone 7b)
Region: United States of America Canning and food preservation Garden Ideas: Level 1
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homeshow
Aug 30, 2013 11:54 AM CST
When I wet render lard from 1 of our pigs. I get 1 of 2 results.
1. I put the scraps thru a meat grinder. I get the most from this batch but not as firm and pure white.
2. I put the scraps directly into the hot water. White firm lard every time.


Something about not shredding the fat?
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Aug 30, 2013 1:49 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

The meat that is in the fat is probably more likely to contaminate your lard if the cubes are ground up, causing tiny specs of meat to get cooked too much. I always just cut the fat into cubes and render like that. The strings of meat that are in the fat just float up and get skimmed off.

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