Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 24 hrs
Tallow is the pure fat that remains after suet or beef fat has been rendered to remove impurities. I use tallow to make home-made soap. Soaps that are made with large amounts of tallow are mild to the skin, hard to the touch, and make small creamy bubbles. (If you were to render pork fat, the result would be lard, rather than tallow.)
- Cut or grind the suet into small pieces. You can either have your butcher grind it for you, or cut it into small pieces with a sharp knife. If you decide to use a food processor, use the knife-blade attachment, and be sure not to overload your food processor -- it will just make mess!
- Put your cut up suet into a pot with enough room to allow for expansion as the suet heats up. The suet should not fill more than half the pot.
- Add 2-4 inces of water. Add the salt. The salt will help separate impurities from the mixture.
- Set the pot of suet, salt and water over medium heat, and stir gently as it heats up. Allow the mixture to come to a slow boil, watching constantly. (If this were to boil over, you could have a fire!) The goal is to liquify as much of the suet as possible. This melting process may take at least 30 minutes for 2-3 pounds of suet.
- If the water begins to boil away, add a little more, but be careful to avoid 'sputtering'.
- When most of the suet is dissolved, remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly and ladle the mixture through a sieve into a mold. (I use a large rectangular plastic storange container).
- Throw away the solids that remain in your sieve, or mix with some peanut butter and set this out for the birds.
- Place the container with the melted suet into your refrigerator overnight. As the mixture cools, the tallow will rise to the surface and solidify.
- Remove the mold from the fridge, and turn it upside down over your sink. Let any liquid drain away. Scrape off any gelatinous gunk off the bottom of the block of tallow and discard it.
- Your remaining tallow will be hard, firm, and either white or off-white. Scrape away any remaining debris.
- Refrigerate or freeze the tallow until ready to be used.