Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fat Works Leaf Lard & Pure Tallow

A few months ago during my Autoimmune Paleo experiment, I was looking for safe alternative cooking fats.  As I read Mickey Trescott's Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, she recommended lard and tallow as AIP friendly alternatives.  Having been around paleo a while, I know that the key with animal fat is that it come from pastured/grass fed animals.  So, after searching the internet a bit, I came across Fatworks.    They have three products,  Pure Tallow, Leaf Lard, and Duck Fat.  

Why Fatworks?  Well they use fats only from 100% grass fed or 100% free range pasture raised animals.  The animals are also hormone and antibiotic free.  When I asked for a little more info about the company, my contact, with the title Fatworker, said they best sum themselves up with this facebook post.  Fatworks does one thing- they produce high quality cooking fats using the highest quality ingredients. 

I reached out to them and they graciously sent me a jar of the Pure Tallow and Leaf Lard.  I'm continuing to cook with these but I think I've used them enough to share my experience here.  

Pure Tallow

I've never cooked with tallow before.   What is tallow?  It's basically rendered beef fat.  What is interesting about tallow is that you can reuse it several times if you filter it between uses.  Fatworks uses a special low-heat kettle rendering process and special filtering system that produces a superior cooking fat.  

One of the dishes I used to test this tallow out was Mickey Trescott's Cranberry Braised Short ribs.  I had some beautiful short ribs form Tendergrass Farms so I decided I had to brown them with the Fatworks Pure Tallow.   

Using tallow is a bit different from other animal fats I've cooked with.  It's naturally shelf stable and at room temperature, it is very hard.  You have to heat it a bit to get it out of the jar.  You also need to be careful not to put any of it down your kitchen sink drain (the same goes for the lard).  It did a great job on my ribs.  Yum.  

Leaf Lard

I've used the leaf lard more than the tallow.  

Fatworks uses 100% pasture raised pigs and they only use the pig "leaf." The leaf is the highest grade of lard and has the least "porky" taste than any other lard.  It has a very high smoke point which makes it great for sautéing.  This fat is unbelievably creamy.  There is something decadent about scooping this lard out of the jar.  

I really like this product.  I've been using to sauté really anything that I'd typically use coconut oil or olive oil for and have had excellent results.  

It really doesn't have a pork flavor that I can discern but that doesn't mean its not great to sauté some greens and a pork chop.

The Paleo Review:  Thumbs Up!  I've started to see pins and blog posts pop up about rendering your own animal fats at home.  After using Fatworks Pure Tallow and Leaf Lard and knowing I could not get the same quality product at home- I won't be giving those home recipes a try.  

I wish I had more to say, but these are simply great healthy cooking fats.  If you've been wanting to add a few more options to your cooking fat arsenal, give Fatworks a try.  

How many of you cook with lard or tallow in your kitchen?