Wagh! No rendering here. Cut into blocks and put into the freezer, then I shred it when its frozen - much easier and makes finer shreds than doing it at room temperature. Keeps for ages in the freezer, so I don't shred it all at once, as the solid stuff takes up much less room. Ohh, the dumplings!
We chopped, pulled as much membrane out as possible and vaccuum packed it for the freezer, hoping to get a good storage life out of it - at least until Xmas pudding and mince pie-making time. The bits and pieces will go in the Magpie trap!
What did you actually do Ruth?
If you chop it into smallish chunks and render it at a low heat, you should be able to strain off the resulting suet/dripping, leaving behind the membranes. I would strain into stainless steel bowls then tip into cleaned tins for freezing. Once frozen I would open up the other end of the tin and push the resulting suet out. The reason for the tins was that it was a good size for me and my cooking - I dislike oil big time - can't stand either the taste or the smell.
Rendered fat/suet will keep in the freezer for several years without the need to vacuum pack but if you can, then do so. If I couldn't process at the time of killing I would chuck in the freezer and do when time was available.
I'm a dripping advocate from way back. It always tickled me that Sniff, a generation younger than me, did all his commercial cooking using dripping. He did not like oil.
I was brought up on suet - suet dumplings, steak and kidney pudding, spotted dick, suet in the Christmas pudding, suet in the mincemeat. I got excited when I saw a box of Atora here only to find it was "vegetarian"
PS spotted dick is a suet pudding with big raisins in it. In our family there is no sugar in the pudding, but is served hot sprinkled with sugar and melted butter. Strictly no custard. Porridge was also served with sugar and melted butter. Its a wonder we are not dead from heart attack!!
I have a theory that those oils must be really bad for us. Have you ever noticed the difference between cooking with oils and cooking with dripping and butter, how, the pan after cooking oils is extremely hard to clean by comparison with dripping or butter. I often think that black tarry deposit that oils make when heated, may well line our arteries and innards the same way. It also migrates over the side of the pan and one just about has to sand blast the pan occasionally to get it clean again.
Butter and dripping will easily wash off with good hot water and soap.
Ah well Anakei, I suspect you're showing your Pomey background.. I grew up with all of that. My mother was generally a lousy cook but when it came to things like that she more than made up for it.
You're right Stickie, not only does oil smell and taste awful, it migrates. Loathe the bloody stuff.
Most vegetable oils are bad for you - too high in omega 6 and rancid by the time you buy them.
I use olive oil for dressings ( NZ or Australian - never European ones as they are adulterated) coconut oil, ghee and butter to cook with.
I save drippings from the roast and use it for the next roast or vegetables.
Well said Anakei! Canola oil is about the worst thing you can cook with, don't google it or you will feel sick...Coconut oil is great, if you have never tried it, take a teaspoonful in your mouth and you will be surprised how it is not oily and just melts away, no trace of coconut flavour. It also lasts a lot longer than oil as it does not go rancid.
So... getting back to the original post, there is nothing wrong with animal fat? Just in case it wasn't recognised as such, that is a rhetorical question! Animal fat was around a long time before anybody discovered oil - except perhaps the Italians and Greeks but have done no research on that. I use olive oil as a dressing on salads and that is about the be-all and end-all of my use of oil.
I suspect our ancestors had it right and those of us who carry it on don't have too many issues with it, healthwise or otherwise. Despite all that fat in my diet, I'm underweight and don't have a cholesterol problem - although I have reservations about cholesterol too. (Suspect it might be a load of garbage).
Eat what you want, cook it in what you want and do everything in moderation.
How did you go with your rendering Ruth?
Hi Ronnie, we didn't render, just pulled as much of the membrane out as possible and froze in weighed packs of chunks. Most of the recipes we use call for raw suet, so that's how we've left it.
Don't know enough about it to have an opinion but makes sense if that's the type of cooking you're doing. My childhood memories of my mother using it are coming up to 50-60 years old and as I can't remember what I did yesterday.......I do know that suet and lard were big for her. However, I suspect that raw suet is the better way to go for many recipes. Have never done any research as have had no need to but rendering is possibly a better way of keeping for longer term as there will be no membranes in it.
A lot of history in our food - and most of it makes modern-day thinking look as though it came out of the mouths of morons - which it probably did - over-educated ones.
But yes, whichever way you use it or deal with it, it is well worth keeping. But somehow I can't see the "wanna-be" farmer bothering. Wouldn't even know where to start.
Suet in all those recipes I mentioned before is just grated raw suet, so freezing it in usuable amounts is perfect.
On the plus side it's slowly being recognised that saturated fats don't give you cholesterol ( high carbohydrate and sugar are the culprits)
and in NZ we are lucky enough to have grass fed beef which means the omega3 to omega6 balance is optimum.
So you can eat it with a clear conscience!