Beef tallow is hands down my favorite fat to use for frying even more than lard. It is ideal for this purpose as it has less than 3% polyunsaturated fats, just a bit Rless than coconut oil. What’s more, if your beef tallow comes from a cow finished on grass or given grain for a very short period of time (a few weeks at the most) before processing, a good share of those polyunsaturates are in the form of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), that fatty acid that you should seek to add to your diet as it helps builds muscle, assists with weight loss and drastically reduces cancerous tumor risk to name just a few of the health benefits.
The majority of beef tallow is approximately 55% saturated fats and 40% monounsaturated fats which are both very heat stable and do not easily produce free radicals when heated unlike liquid vegetable oils.
Beef Tallow: Not Just Any Fat
Tallow is not just any old beef fat, however. It is the rendered form of suet, which is the nutrient rich beef or mutton fat found around the organs, particularly the kidneys. It is the highly prized nourishing fat used in the traditional food pemmican used by Native Americans to survive harsh winters, sometimes with nothing else to eat for weeks on end! Traditionally made pemmican includes tallow in a 1:1 ratio with dried and powderized, ideally grassfed muscle meat to make the ultimate survival food.
If learning how to render this most nourishing of traditional fats is of interest to you, in the video lesson below, I show you how to render beef tallow from an intact piece of suet straight from a local, grassbased farmer.
Start to finish, this video shows you exactly what you need to know to produce several jars full of deep yellow tallow, rich in Vitamins A and D – those critical fat soluble vitamins prized by Traditional Societies for their importance in bestowing maximum vitality to both young and old.
Another notable monounsaturated fat that is present in high amounts in beef tallow is palmitoleic acid, which is highly antiviral and antibacterial. So fire up those healthy french fries on your stovetop using beef tallow. With flu season coming on, consumption of plenty of beef tallow will serve to help keep you well in the coming cold months.
Please note that tallow is solid at room temperature and keeps well in the pantry, but I choose to refrigerate as this is my personal preference. In my experience, rendered beef tallow will keep many, many months in the refrigerator.
How to Render Beef Tallow
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
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