They say there's a first time for everything. As I love testing and experimenting with different things, fat rendering seemed next on the docket. Tallow is simply cooked down fat from a ruminant. When fat is cooked It withstands higher heat and is shelf stable.
And now that the Instant Pot is my new best friend, I had to give it a shot.
Often you hear the term suet. That's simply the specific fat around the kidneys. Tallow is simply rendered (cooked down to a melted version) fat. Lard on the other hand almost always comes from pigs or ducks.
For starters here are the chunks of bison fat from our farm.
Cut it up into small chunks.
Put it in the Instant Pot with 1 cup of water. Cooked it on high pressure for 60 minutes and let it release pressure naturally.
Then drain it out over a stainer and/or cheesecloth. Let it settle so the fat come to the top and the water to the bottom. Continue to strain out all the water until only the fat remains.
Take any remaining fat and you can sauté it up either in the pot or on the stove until they are browned to create yummy, crunchy cracklings.
Take off and put on a paper towel to cool and dry. Then add salt and store them in the fridge.
Use whatever glass containers you have (I have lids for all these) to store them. In this case, I poured all the fat into 4 containers to keep some and give away the rest.
The finished product, after it's cooled:
A couple of things I'll do differently on the next round. Work with less fat, to begin with. Only do about 1/4 to 1/2 of what I did. And cut them up into way smaller pieces. Also, I didn't have cheesecloth to get a really nice strain to get out any impurities. Also, the cracklings were not super crackly because they were too big, so once those are cut up smaller they will crisp up nicer.
A fun and unique experience! It's great to know exactly what's in my fat, and I'm looking forward to adding it to some dishes for some nice flavor. This is a fantastic addition to my continued focus on ancestral eating patterns, including how important fat was to our brain development...a topic for another day!
Certified Primal Health Coach
Professional Tackle Football Player (retired)