ALL ABOUT THAT BASE

COOKING WITH FAT

Animal fats are making a comeback in home kitchens. For the past few decades using them was a dirty word associated with unhealthy diets. Well, we think they are GREAT for you! More than likely your grandmother would agree with us.  There are countless amount of articles, books and conferences on the benefits of cooking with animal fats. We will leave your internet search fingers to find out more information about the nutritional contents. For now, Marlow & Daughters is here to supply you with lard, tallow, schmaltz, duck fat, lardo, bacon, and a few other products to stock your kitchen and rest of your home (yes!). Specifically speaking, the fat from the animal, as opposed to fats from milk which we will save for another day, is excellent for cooking. They have great flavor, texture, and high heat thresholds (so your steaks won’t burn). We encourage you to bring back the traditions of your ancestors and saute, bake, spread, fry (and even moisturize) with them.

 

LARD

Fat from pork. The two most common sources of lard are fatback and leaf lard. Leaf lard comes from an area around the animal’s abdomen and has a milder porky taste. It’s excellent for baking and making flakey pie crusts. Fatback comes from the back of the pig (maybe this is obvious) in between the skin and the muscle. It’s perfect for frying and stovetop cooking as well as a spread on toast or crackers. A third type of fat is caul fat, which we use in the shop to line our crépinettes and and pâtés.

We also take lard one step further and make lardo, a style of curing fatback with herbs and spices for long periods of time. Lardo is excellent as a finishing flavor in cooked dishes or as a topping for fresh bread on a charcuterie plate. We sell both cured lardo that we slice thinly or whipped with pepper and herbs to be used as a spread like butter.

Suggestions:

  • Use leaf lard instead of butter next time you make biscuits or pie dough. Some use a combination of butter and lard to make their pastries flavorful, flaky, and tender.
  • Toss parboiled potatoes with lard and rosemary and crisp them up in the oven.
  • Fun Fact: Mix lard with beeswax and you have a treatment to maintain butcher blocks and other similar wood surfaces.

 

TALLOW

Fat from the cow that is less common nowadays in the kitchen than lard but just as useful.The unrendered fat is called suet and is also used in cooking.  Suet and tallow is also the name for fat from mutton, though we only make tallow in the shop from our beef. It has an exceptionally high smoke point which makes it very useful for frying and cooking at high heat.

Suggestions:

  • Instead of cooking oil, use tallow to grease your pan before cooking steaks on the stove or oven. It brings out the flavor in the meat.
  • Great for meat pies. Use instead of butter or lard in your dough.
  • Fun Fact: Tallow is an excellent moisturizer for your hands. Think of all the Vitamins A and D in animal fats.

 

SCHMALTZ (aka chicken or goose fat)

Schmaltz is the yiddish term for rendered chicken fat. It is often associated with Jewish cuisines as it is the most common animal fat used in cooking (considering one could not eat pork or certain portions of the cow where a majority of suet comes from). There are really great recipes online for how to use schmaltz in cooking. One of our favorites is to use it like butter and spread it on bread or mix it in with warm roasted root vegetables.

Suggestions: 

  • Add a spoonful to chicken soup to make your meal more rich and flavorful.
  • If you are planning on making latkes, schmaltz is the traditional fat used to fry them.
  • Keep the skin and trimmings from your chicken and freeze them. When you have enough saved up from a few chicken dinners, you can make your own schmaltz.
  • Fun Fact: chicken fat is high in Omega-6 fatty acids

 

DUCK 

We don’t often carry duck fat in the shop, but when we do, you should grab some! Mostly used as a preservative for our duck legs we package the remaining fat for sale. It’s very common in a french kitchen and traditionally used in cassoulet, pommes frites, and braising for choucroute garnie.