2–5 lb Beef or Pork fat
- In order to have it melt more easily, cut your fat into chunks no larger than 1.5 inches.
- Place the fat into your pan, then add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan by about half an inch.
- Place the pan over a medium flame, until the water starts to boil, then turn heat down to low.
- Cook gently for 1-2 hours, stirring every so often until most of the fat has rendered. It should be a translucent yellow color. Though it may look appealing, if it starts to develop brown colors your temperature is too high.
- The fat will have silverskin and meat attached, so it will never completely render to liquid and you can expect to be left with floating crisp-looking pieces. Warning – the pork ones will taste delicious, the beef ones sort of taste like ear wax, so approach at your own peril.
- At this stage, the fat is searing hot, so be cautious when handling it. Over a heat proof bowl, set up the sieve and line it with the muslin or straining material. Carefully pour the rendered fat through the sieve, being careful to set the pan back down on a heat proof surface. Discard the muslin. I prefer to pour into a bowl first rather than pouring it straight into a jar, in case you need to strain it twice.
- After 10-15 minutes, pour the contents of the bowl into a clean jar – it will still be very hot and will heat the glass quickly. Seal and store in the refrigerator for up to three months.