Friday, July 31, 2009

Fat Free...

First of all let me say thanks to Brett for letting me contribute to his blog, which I hope I can help a few peaple out regarding their diet.

Cooking with Fat:

As we know when cooking flesh, we subject it to a certain amount of heat for a certain period of time, and most times this includes the fats/oils we have added to the pan or meat. Depending on the specific profile of the fat this can cause structural damage to the fatty acid chain, oxidising it, and increasing its risk of damge once inside the body.

The most stable fats to use are saturated fats, these are solid at room temperature and can be heated to a relatively high heat without change in structure (its smoke point). Monosaturaed fats are next, such as olive oil, and majority polyunsaturated fats should not be subject to high heat at all.

A good saturated fat source for cooking is of course butter, but longer cooking time with butter can burn the sugars and proteins still present. An extremely stable source is beef tallow and lard. These are made using the rendered fat from beef fat or pig fat, repectively. Dripping and lard available at the supermarket in nutritionaly void as it is so highly processed and an be hydrogenated depending on the source.

Heres a quick guide to home made beef tallow (or lard) that I have used to make an excellent cooking medium:

Obtained about 500g kidney fat from the butcher at riverside gardens that only has local grassfed cattle.

Remove any pieces of flesh or blood vessels then cut it up into very small cubes, or alternately you could throw it in the food processor for a few seconds. Layer it out in a large oven safe dish. Have oven pre-heated to 120'c (for fan forcred).

Place the tray in and leave for around 2-2:30 hours. The fat will melt out of the fat tissue and pool at the bottem. Do not leave in so long that the remaining tissue (now crackling) burns.

Remove and drain the dish through a seive to get the clear fat, squeeze out any remaining oil from the soft crackling.

Place the oil in the fridge which will turn white and solid. This can then be broken up or simply cut of whatever you want to use in you cooking. The crackling can also be added to fried foods for extra taste and 'crackle' and will provide a bit more fat to dishes as some will still melt out of it. Or you can eat it on its own with some paprika and lightly salted.

There you have it, some easy to make cooking oil that tastes great, wont oxidise under most cooking conditions and nutritionally sound with a good n-3/n-6 balance and vitamins E and D.

Did I mention I got the fat from the butcher for free...

If anyone has anything they'd like to ask or post on please comment, I'm here to help.


Brett_M/30/181cm/84kg said...

Cool post Steve I was hoping you would discuss this after trying to remember ou conversation the other night.

I am keen to try the bacon mayonaise soon as I have been saving my bacon run off foe a while now and almost have 1/4 cup.

Chris said...

Well you live and learn....Great post Steve. I'll give it a go. this goes well with my cooking adventures.

I'm going to show this post to my parents. I'm sure to get a "I told you it was good for you! Just because we're older doesn't mean that we're stupid." With everything out there we're lead to believe that animal fat is BAD for us. You have some good science behind you to back you up there I see.