How to Make Grass Fed Beef Tallow

I use grass fed tallow a lot in my cooking. I choose it because it is a saturated fat, has a high smoke point and has great health properties (and, of course, I have plenty at hand!) What is Tallow you ask?  Tallow is the rendered suet fat from cattle or sheep. It creates super crispy hashbrowns and roast vegetables that are delicious.

What is suet and what is rendering?

Suet is the firm fat from around the kidney area of cattle (or sheep kidney fat is also classified as suet).  To ensure the health properties that come with tallow, choose suet from grass fed animals, as the feed type alters the fat makeup.

Rendering fat is the process of melting it and then straining it to remove any impurities. The resulting cooled tallow is then stable and can be conveniently stored in the cupboard at room temperature – when done so in a sterile airtight container.

Suet has a high smoke point, which makes it a healthy option for frying as it won’t denature unless cooked at quite high heats. We supply it in bags of approximately 2kg with the suet having been put through the mincer, which makes it easier to package and quicker to melt for you.

I render my suet in my slow cooker, but it could also be done on a very low heat on the stove top or in the oven. Just ensure a gentle heat – don’t boil it.

Place the suet into the slow cooker on a low heat and leave it until it has all melted. You will have pure, clear melted golden fat, with crunchy or solid bits on the bottom of the pot and some floating on the top.

Sterilize some jars while the suet is melting.  To do this, place clean glass jars in a cold oven and bring the temperature to around 120oC – leave for 20 minutes.  I place my lids in a saucepan of water and boil the water for around 10 minutes (as some lids have a film on them that will melt if placed in the oven).

Once the suet has all melted, remove any impurities with a slotted spoon and discard (or give to your dog).  These are connective tissues, blood vessels etc. Pour or spoon the remaining clear liquid through a cheesecloth lined sieve into the jars (please be careful!). Place the lids on while the liquid is hot. If you’ve ever made jam, chutney etc, you will know that as the jar contents cool, the lid on the jar will be sucked down, creating a seal and helping to maintain the freshness of the contents.

As the tallow begins to cool it will also solidify and change from a golden yellow colour to a lovely creamy white.

The tallow can be stored in the cupboard for months. Once opened, store it in the fridge.  Note that it can be quite firm after being in the fridge, so if you can choose a squat jar with a wider opening as it is easier to get the suet safely out of. (I did drive a butter knife through the side of a jar trying to get some out a while back! I find a spoon safest now. Choose jars with thicker glass sides if you have them.

 

Cooking with Tallow

I use tallow wherever I can and it makes sense flavour wise – so browning meat for casseroles, frying eggs, making hash browns for breakfast (grated potato cooked in tallow) – super crispy!

I roast vegetables in tallow in the oven. I put a few big chunks in the pan and place in the warm oven to melt it, then take the pan out and toss vegetables in it and roast at 200oC. (Sweet potato, beetroot, onion, leek, potato, parsnip, swede, carrot). Generous cracks of pepper and a good sprinkle of sea salt, along with some stripped rosemary and thyme leaves. This makes lovely crispy roast vegetables.

If you have an old pudding recipe of your grandmothers, it may call for tallow or suet in the recipe. The reason it is requested in pudding recipes is that it has a higher melting point than butter or vegetable oils, so when grated and placed in a pudding mixture, the mixture around the suet will begin to cook or set before the tallow melts and loses form. The tallow will then eventually melt and cook into the ingredients around and will leave a small air pocket in its place, leaving a light, airy and spongy pudding (according to savouringthepast.net who had a great blog on tallow).  Another reason for using tallow in your Grannie’s pudding, was also, obviously that they had it readily available.

If there’s one negative of suet making – it’s the pot cleanup! It requires lots of suds and very hot water, with this tipped out in the back yard, as you likely don’t want excess fat down the sink.  You may find at the end of the cleanup process however, that the skin on your hands feel wonderfully nourished from the tallow on them.  If you liked the feel, you could try making this tallow balm, as a treatment for dry, or cracked hands.

Take 1 cup melted tallow, ¼ cup olive oil and 48 drops lavender oil (or try sandalwood or tea tree) and place into sterilized jars.  I also added 3 vitamin E capsules that I had, as it’s good for skin healing. ie. capsules meant as oral supplements. This is not essential. Stir and place into sterilized jars. Your hands may feel somewhat greasy for 5-10 minutes after applying, but I find it worth it as it’s really nourishing if my hands become particularly dry.

You can order our grass fed suet in bags of around 2kg (which makes around 5 decent sized jam jars of tallow).  It is $10/kg. It is only available as an add-on to one of our hampers. Please email if you have any tallow questions and hopefully I can answer them.  I might explore the health properties of tallow in detail in a future post.

Happy tallow making!

Kirrily x

A crispy, herb crumb around a tender steak with all the goodness of being grass fed and chemical free – this is a fabulous recipe for topside steak. Cook in tallow for that extra crispness and for the great anti-inflammatory health benefits that go with it.

Topside steak comes from the hind quarter of the animal. It is a high use muscle that is very lean, meaning it is one of the less forgiving cuts of meat with regard to how it is cooked. I like to stir fry it quickly at a high temperature– having cut it into thin strips across the grain of the meat. Some will slow cook it in a casserole, but I find it a bit lean for this.

This crumbed steak however, is now by far my favourite way to cook topside steak! It means getting at the steak with a meat tenderiser (without this, I wouldn’t cook topside as a steak in a pan or on a BBQ), but these are readily available and are not expensive to buy. Give it a go!

 

1 pack Conscious Farmer topside steak (600g)

2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (I whir up frozen bread in my stick blender)

¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

¼ cup chopped fresh mint

¼ cup finely grated parmesan

Plain flour

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

2 eggs

 

Preparation

Mix the breadcrumbs, parsley, mint and parmesan together in a bowl.  Place the plain flour in another bowl and add a generous pinch of the sea salt and pepper.  Take a third bowl, crack the eggs into it and beat with a fork.

Take the topside steak and cut each steak into 3 pieces.  I do this for two reasons – the first is that the steaks become a lot bigger after tenderising and the second, it allows more places for crumbs! Take each piece and hit with a meat tenderising mallet.  Be sure to do this on an older chopping board as it will pock the timber somewhat. My mallet has a side with larger ‘teeth’ and then a side with smaller. Start tenderising the steak with the large then move to the small.

Once tenderised, take each steak and coat lightly in the plain flour then dip into the beaten egg. Place in the bowl of crumbs. Sprinkle some over the top and press down so that the crumbs stick to both sides. Place on a plate ready for cooking. Repeat the process with the other pieces of steak.

Cooking

Take a large pan and place a generous piece of tallow in the pan to melt – or whatever oil you choose to use.  I think the key to great crispy crumbs is keeping oil in the base of the pan while cooking. Don’t let it dry right out.

Place the steaks in the pan and cook until the crumbs are coloured and crisp, turn and cook the other side.

Serve with a fresh Greek salad or with vegetables and creamy mashed potato.

Interestingly, I have cooked these steaks with tallow and with olive oil and the olive oil crisped quite well, but didn’t hold the crisp once coming off the heat as well as the tallow.

Topside steak is in many of our hampers – if you’d like to order a hamper for Grass Fed Crumbed Steaks – see our hamper selection here.

Happy Crumbing!

Kirrily

Here are some lovely grass fed beef koftas filled with spices and herbs , served with a fresh tabouli and minted yoghurt.  Great for summer time eating.  I have made them as sausage shapes on skewers but you could also shape them into meatballs and cook them in a skillet. This is likely a better option if you don’t have a BBQ plate, as the skewers can be hard to fit into a pan to cook.

Beef Koftas

  • 1 pack Conscious Farmer mince (750g)
  • 1/3 cup grated onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
  • 6 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Generous pinch salt & good grind black pepper

 

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. If using bamboo skewers, soak them in some water to prevent splinters. Shape the beef mixture onto skewers as seen in image above.  Makes around 12 koftas.

Heat a barbecue plate to a medium heat.  Oil the plate and place the skewers on the plate to cook.  Rotate to cook all sides, while leaving slightly pink in the middle. You may like to use tongs around the beef to move the koftas so that the skewer doesn’t break out of the mince.  Once cooked, the mince will be firmer and you will be able to move the koftas via the skewer.

Serve with the tabouli and minted yoghurt – see below.

 

Tabouli

Tabouli is traditionally made with burghul (wheat based), but I use quinoa as I have it on hand, which is great for gluten free eaters too.  Those not gluten free could also try couscous.

  • 1/4 cup quinoa – cooked as per instructions
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

 

Minted Yoghurt

  • 1 cup greek yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint

Combine all ingredients.

 

Serve the koftas alongside the tabouli and with a generous dollop of minted yoghurt.

Regardless of the hamper you order from us, they all contain grass fed beef mince, so no excuses not to try this recipe!  Our hampers options can be seen and ordered here.

Enjoy and eat well, Kirrily.

Homemade tortillas, wrapped around some grass fed Mexican beef mince, with sour cream and crunchy iceberg lettuce.  A nourishing meal for the family or a casual meal for a crowd and the tortillas are great for a healthy lunch wrap if you have some remaining after everyone’s had their dinner fill!

In case you didn’t know – it’s pronounced  taw-tee-uh  –  there is no ‘L’ sound.  For Spanish words, a single ‘L’ is pronounced as an ‘L’, where as a double ‘L’ is pronounced as a ‘Y’. So now you know – even if you hadn’t asked!

I recently tried making these tortilla wraps and given their easiness and the thumbs up feedback from the family, I thought I’d share them with you.  I firstly made the mince from this previous recipe of mine – Mexican Beef Mince with Roast Sweet Potato, then let it simmer very slowly on the stovetop while I made the dough for the tortillas.

For the tortillas.

 

Ingredients

3 cups plain flour

1 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup olive oil

1 cup warm water

 

Method

Place the flour, sea salt and baking powder in a bowl.  Add the oil and water to the flour mix and stir until a dough begins to form.  Next, use your hands and work into a smooth dough – knead briefly.  Divide the dough into 16 pieces, roll each into a ball, flatten slightly and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave to stand for at least 15 minutes.

Dust your bench surface with flour, take a rolling pin (rub with flour) and roll out each ball to a circle a little bigger than a bread and butter plate. You can tease them out into a circle with your hands before rolling.

Take a large frypan on a medium heat and drizzle some olive oil in the pan.  Once the pan is hot, place the tortillas into the pan one at a time and cook until browned spots begin to form underneath. Flip and cook the other side. Cook until all 16 tortillas are completed.

As the tortillas are cooked, add them to a plate and cover them with a clean tea towel. This will help them to stay soft and pliable – especially for next day use.

Each time I’ve cooked these I’ve had one of our sons helping me – one of us has cooked while the other rolls them out. It’s a fun thing to do together.  The tortillas are super easy to cook – there is no stickage on the pan at all, so you can have a bit of fun turning them by flipping them in the pan!

Once all the tortillas are cooked – place them, along with the fillings, in the centre of the table for the family or kids to enjoy wrapping their own – the beef mince, chopped iceberg lettuce, sour cream and the warm tortillas. Of course you can add any other fillings you like. Avocado is quite a nice addition.

Build, eat, nourish, enjoy!

Kirrily x

When there are only so many packs of sausages to go around, it can be hard to pull some away from a grill-up to allocate to a meal that takes at least a little more effort than ‘chucking a few snags on the barbie’. This one however, is well worth it!

The base ingredients are actually a fairly standard set of flavours – bacon, onion, red wine, tomatoes – but the addition of the fennel seeds, together with rosemary make all the difference.  Served with creamy mashed potato and some greens on the side, it’s the perfect meal for the Winter season.

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1 pack Conscious Farmer Sausages (pack of 9)
  • 4 bacon rashers – chopped
  • 1 onion – sliced
  • 1 garlic clove – crushed
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 cup (250ml) red wine
  • 1 sprig rosemary – leaves stripped
  • 210g chopped tomatoes or cherry tomatoes (tinned or fresh)
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • Mashed potato to serve

Place the sausages in a pan with some olive oil and brown all sides. Remove from the pan.  Discard some fat from the pan, if necessary.  Add the bacon and cook until crisp, then remove and sit with the sausages.

Add the onions, cook until soft, then add the garlic and fennel seeds and cook for one minute. Add the red wine to the pan and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.

Place the sausage and bacon back in the pan.  Add the tomatoes, rosemary leaves and chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes with a lid covering; remove the lid toward the end of simmering to allow the liquid to reduce. Season with salt and pepper, if required.

Serve with creamy mashed potato and greens on the side.

I have taken this recipe and adapted it from the following website.

https://www.olivemagazine.com/recipes/meat-and-poultry/sausages-braised-with-fennel-and-red-wine/

Here is a fresh little salad to serve aside one of our tasty steaks while the weather’s hot. If you have a vegetable patch like me, you may well also have an abundance of tomatoes, basil, parsley and oregano right now that you’re looking for ways to use! If not, you may find some tasty, in season tomatoes at the markets at this time of year.

I love the freshness of herbs in this salad.  I made this for dinner last night and it took 5 minutes tops.

  • 750g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

Halve the cherry tomatoes and place in a bowl.

In another small bowl, place the oil, vinegar, salt and sugar and whisk or stir.  You can also place these ingredients in a jar, place the lid on and shake – a great way to make salad dressings.

Sprinkle the chopped herbs over the tomatoes and stir. Pour the dressing over the tomato mix and stir again.

It’s ready for serving! This recipe can also be made in advance and left to marinate overnight.

Enjoy!

Kirrily x

Relaxed summer eating – who doesn’t love it! Enjoy sitting outside amongst the scent of the cool evening air and the mouth-watering smells coming from the steaks sizzling on the BBQ. There’s lots of ways to cook in summer that are quick and create little heat in the house, and provide wonderful healthful meals with great grass fed beef.

We have a variety of nourishing grass fed beef hampers with a selection of cuts to give you a summer season full of fabulous meals to share with friends and family.  The beef that Derek and I produce on our farm is 100% grass fed & finished and it’s free of pesticides – because that’s what we want for our family, so why would we produce it any other way! Plus our sausages are preservative and gluten free.

With the flavour of our grass fed beef, all you’ll need on your steak is some sea salt and cracked black pepper, a fresh salad on the side and some crisped potato rounds. For us, with our boys now in their teens, barbequing is great because they are happy to take on the cooking – chillaxing outside with the steaks and ‘taties’ on the hotplate for dinner!

There’s so much more to summer than a steak on the BBQ though – pop some Red Wine and Soy Marinated Kebabs or home-made herbed rissoles on the BBQ; stir fry with your favourite Asian flavours or whip up some good old spaghetti bolognaise.

Our Summer Wholesome Hamper is perfect for all of these, with succulent grilling steaks – scotch fillet, sirloin, t-bone, rump, plus topside and boneless blade steaks for thin slicing for lovely stir fries (try our Beef & Vegetable Stir Fry with Cashews & Fresh Basil or this great Thai Beef Salad). There are ribs for roasting or BBQing and mince and sausages for an array of easy and healthy summer meals.  Try our San Choi Bao and get your fingers a little bit messy!

This Summer Wholesome Hamper is actually an eighth share in the cuts from the animal, with the slow cooking cuts ground for extra mince and sausages, but if you’re still keen in summer for the health benefits of slow cooking, then choose our traditional Wholesome Hamper as it has those lovely collagen rich cuts.

The Classic BBQ and the Premium BBQ Hampers are also great for the BBQ lover – these hampers have all the best grilling steaks (including eye fillets) plus mince and sausages. Everything you’ll love for the BBQ plate.

The Classic BBQ Hamper is great if you have smaller freezer space as it is just 9.5kg. The Premium BBQ has some extra steaks at 12kg.

Of course you can choose from any of our Hampers – there are larger hampers for those with a family and smaller hampers for couples and singles.  I’m sure any questions you have about delivery, adding bones and offal to your hamper and more, will be answered in our Frequently Asked Questions.

With family here over summer, I’m planning a big sticky ribs cook-up with a dill potato salad, Derek’s going to pre-make some of his Home-Made Sausage Rolls for the freezer to pull out when feeling lazy and I’m going to take it easy one night with a whole heap of our sausages on the BBQ with a salad and served with some of this Sweet and Tangy Tomato Relish that I made with the mass of cherry tomatoes I had last summer.

Hamper orders can be placed here.

Enjoy your summer grass fed beef eating!

Kirrily x

Sticky, beefy, pick them up with your fingers – what more could you want! Considering how much I enjoy them now, strangely I hadn’t ventured into cooking beef ribs until Derek and I began The Conscious Farmer – I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them and just hadn’t given it a go. Now I actually find them quite simple to cook when cooked on the small rotisserie cooker that we have. It’s great because it takes the cooking outside for summer, which you may also be able to do if you have a rotisserie on your BBQ. If you don’t, you can slow cook them for a while in the oven and then finish them off on the BBQ grill to get that lovely stickiness to the sauce.

Ribs are something that we can possibly add some extra of to your hamper, so if you would like extra ribs, please let us know in the comments box when you order your hamper and we’ll see what we can do!

Ingredients

Sauce

½ cup tomato sauce

¼ cup honey

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

 

Ribs

1 pack Conscious Farmer beef ribs (around 1kg)

Olive oil

Sea salt and ground black pepper

 

Method

Mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.

 

On the Rotisserie

Take the ribs, coat with olive oil and rub with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Place on the spike of the rotisserie.  We have a separate small gas operated rotisserie, but you may have it as an attachment on your standard hooded gas BBQ.

Cook slowly on around 140oC for 50mins.  Brush with the sauce and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes, basting with the sauce several times. Cook until the sauce becomes sticky. Remove from the spike and serve with crispy baked potatoes and salad.

 

On the BBQ grill

If you don’t have a rotisserie try coating in oil, salt and pepper, slow cook in the oven (covered) for a couple of hours, coat in the sauce and then cook briefly on a really well-oiled grill on the BBQ. Turn during cooking to ensure all sides are cooked well. Or alternatively try these oven cooked ribs, but serve with a summer salad for this time of year.

I also see online that some just cook them directly on the grill having not been in the oven. I haven’t done this, I’m not sure how tender they would be, but if you give it a go, please let me know.

And when you’ve cut everything off them that you can, pick them up with your fingers!

Enjoy, Kirrily.

Bonjour! It’s been à la française (that’s French for “the French way”) here over the last month. You see, July brings three weeks of  anticipated delight to me with late nights sitting up watching le Tour de France. I love everything about the tour – the scenery, the tactics, the race within the race – and it unashamedly rubs off onto the things I do, including teaching myself a little français, and not a year goes by that I don’t cook something French for the family. This year it was a very simple but delicious dish, Carbonnade de Boeuf, or beef stewed in beer. This was followed by a lovely cherry clafoutis for dessert.

Father’s Day is just around the corner, right after delivery of our next hampers, so maybe a hearty meal of beef carbonnade would put a smile on the face of the Dads in your lives.

 

Ingredients

30g butter

olive oil

1 x 750g pack of diced grass fed beef – up to 1kg, round or chuck steak will work well

4 onions, chopped

1 garlic clove – crushed

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon plain flour

500ml or 2 cups beer

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs thyme

Croutons (optional)

6-8 slices baguette

Dijon mustard

 

Preheat oven to 150oC. Place the butter and oil in a pan on the stove top on a high heat. Once butter has melted, add the beef in batches to brown.

Remove the last of the beef, reduce the heat to moderate, add some more oil and the onion. Cook for 10 minutes, add the brown sugar and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Add a dash of water to lift off the base if it begins to stick during cooking.

Reduce the heat to low, add any juices from the cooked beef and stir in the flour. Remove from the stove top and gradually add the beer a little at a time. The liquid will foam as the beer is added. Return to the heat and let the mixture simmer gently until thickened.

Add the meat, onion, thyme and bay leaves in layers to a large casserole dish. Season each layer with salt and pepper. Pour the beer liquid over the beef, cover and bake for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until the beef is tender.

The French like to top this casserole with baguette croutons spread with dijon.

For the croutons, lightly toast your baguette on both sides (you may need to do this under the grill) and spread lightly, first with a little butter and then with the mustard. Arrange on top of the carbonnade, mustard side up and return to the grill for one minute.

I however reckon it’s best to give the croutons a swerve and serve it up with some creamy mashed potato and who doesn’t love a few green beans on the side.

Et voilà, bon appétit!

Now, for dessert!

Derek

A classic cherry (ceris) clafoutis for dessert, à la française!

In theme with our new Mince and Sausage Hamper, I thought I’d share with you my ‘Wednesday Food’ Curried Sausages recipe.  What’s Wednesday food you may ask?  I heard something said recently – that people want slow food for the weekends and Wednesday food during the week (meaning quick and simple preparation).  Well, here’s a Wednesday meal for you!  Nothing fancy pants – just a quick, simple, tasty meal. It’s not only easy; it’s great because it’s a one pot recipe – minimal clean up!

 

Ingredients

1 x pack Conscious Farmer Sausages

1 carrot – diced

1 brown onion – diced

1 tablespoon curry powder (I use the traditional English style curry powder for this recipe)

¾-1 cup beef stock

1 tin diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

½ cup green peas

Sea salt and black pepper

Chopped fresh flat leaf parsley and greek yoghurt to serve.

 

Method

Place sausages in a large fry pan with a few inches of water in it.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the sausages are cooked through.  Remove from the water (discard water).  Remove the sausage skins (just nick along the side of the sausage and the skin should peel off easily).  Once skinned, cut the sausage into small sections (on the diagonal looks best).

Add some olive oil to the pan and place the carrot and onion in the pan and cook until soft. Add the curry powder to the pan and stir briefly until fragrant.  Return the sausages to the pan, along with the beef stock, tinned tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the peas and simmer until the peas are cooked through.  Season with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Serve with a dollop of natural greek yoghurt on top, white rice and some chopped fresh parsley.

You can also add some diced celery along with the carrot and onion.

Enjoy with family and friends. 🙂 Kirrily x