Anyway- I can't remember where I first got the idea, probably read it in another farm girl's blog somewhere. But the idea of rendering tallow was formed and we were taking a beef in to be processed, it was the perfect time to give it a try. Plus it had been awhile and I was needing the fix of being looked at like I was from another planet. So, when I called in the cutting orders for our beef, I ordered 20#s of ground suet. Of course, I being as weird and strange as I couldn't hardly wait for the locker to call and say "It's ready".
We got our meat home yesterday and Bill hit the jackpot with catfish last night. They say tallow is awesome for frying foods, so with that in mind, I wasted no time rendering the suet so I could fry fish for dinner.
This is how it came to me from the locker. They offered to grind it for me so I let them.
While researching I discovered there are several methods for rendering lard or tallow. I choose the crock pot method.
Put your fat in the crock pot and cook on low for about 3-4 hours. It took me almost 4 hours to cook down about 7 pounds of fat. When its done the fat will have all cooked down and the meat left over will float to the top.
I used a small strainer and ladled the hot liquid into a big bowl with a spout. then I poured it over the cheese cloth into a jar. You can see how its golden here but after it has cooled and hardened it turns to the white we are accustomed too.
7lbs made about 3 quarts of tallow and it really was that easy.
Why hadn't I done it before?
The fish was awesome. Best I've ever made.
My husband's only comment tonight was "you would have fit right in with my grandma."
Yup, I know I would have but I think I'm in pretty good company anyway!