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    Rendering

    No, not video! Fat. and, other things. So, I'm about to smoke off some more bacon and I had a skin from the belly to deal with many an hour. Now, Not to argue with Meathead, but, don't throw that cooking liquid away! that is liquid gold! that wonderful liquid is FULL of yummy, luscious gelatin. make some aspic, or use it as a base for a soup. or, if you aren't feeling well, maybe mix in a few spices (or a very little depending on how under the weather) and eat/drink. it has magical healing powers! and, it IS the base of every good stock, every good soup and every good BBQ sauce. the lusciousness we look for in our finished meat is not water, it is gelatin. that's what makes it so finger lickin good!

    So, hang onto that and use it you won't be sorry. if you have never tried it, look up meat gelatins online. and I encourage everyone to pick up or read Jennifer McLagan's books, Bones & Odd Bits and there are a couple more. she is really back to using everything but the squeal. and we'll find a way to use those, too, one day!)

    When you cook any meat and cool it, you have that fat layer. don't toss, that, either. I'm holding some fats from BBQ cooking and plan to use it as/in the fry oil for some potato chips, making, yes, BBQ chips (HWMO also likes taking fresh chips and dredging them through the rub spice)

    When you want fats, though, there is a really super simple way to render them. it is also the best way to clean wax (for us beekeepers) and, really, anything that floats on top of water and will melt. It is super easy. Weigh what's dirty. from lumps of fat scavenged from trimmings and fat scraps when you prep a cook, to pork skins from bacon, gather them (keeping your species segregated) and weigh the fats. in a large pot, add an equal amount of water (a pound's a pound the whole world round) then toss in your fats and start it simmering. put a lid on it and keep it simmering for several hours. when you are done, allow the pot to cool, undisturbed, to room temp, then put it in the fridge. again, undisturbed.

    in about 24 hours, when everything is cold and set, take out your pot, break the layer of fat or wax you have just rendered and there you have, nice clean fats. lard, tallow whatever. the impurities in the fats fall to the bottom of the water. I use this exclusively when cleaning beeswax. all the little bee bodies and parts, dirt, dust, anything heavier than the wax or the s and falls to the base of the pot.

    on the underside of your fat or wax layer, there will be some roundish globs that may trap some rubbish. typically, it you have not agitated the pot much, that is a very small layer. just scrape the bottom of what you cleaned and toss it back in the freezer to be recleaned the next time you do this. I generally put a few metal skewers into the pot before I let it all cool. that helps when you are ready to remove everything. using the skewers as leverage, breaking up the fat or wax is far easier.

    if you have been rendering fats, you will have a lot of gelatin in the water below. for this, we go right back to the top of this note. keep the gelatin! there are many ways to make this into a beautiful stock! it generally involves adding a few aromatics to the pot (onion, garlic and carrot are usually the core aromatics) and a few spices. Many recipes to suit many needs and tastes. you will want to reduce this, removing as much water as possible. your gelatin will set up more firmly and your storage space will not be full of water, just goodness.

    Hope you try this, you won't be sorry.

    Happy eating, folks!!

    #2
    Gelatin is loaded........

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