Sounds a little crazy, but it’s actually great for your skin. Welcome to the world of cosMEATics.
Yes, it’s technically edible, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
This entire experiment started off as a typo. A friend send me a message about a wagyu burger he’d eaten but instead of ‘burger’ he’d typed ‘butter’. WAGYU BUTTER Y’ALL! A frantic instant-gratification-fueled google search ensued, which eventually led me to the world of tallow-based beauty products.
I’m a fan of the nose to tail philosophy, which dictates that all parts of the animal should be used and none should go to waste. This is a great alternate use for excess and trimmed fat (brisket trimmings, hello?!), the only caveat is you have to use grass fed fat only – that’s where the nutrients are.
Basically, the big benefit of using tallow over regular lotion is that it’s all natural, preservative free, absorbs easily and contains fat soluble vitamins A,D,K & E. Here’s the thing: certain amount of what you put on your skin will actually absorb into your bloodstream (that’s how things like nicotine patches work), so better than your skin be absorbing something natural, right? Plus, more importantly, COW LOTION!
This stuff is actually super easy to make, makes your skin feel soft (I don’t care who you are, both men and women appreciate soft skin!), and no, you won’t smell like grease. Just render some fat to turn it into tallow, mix three basic ingredients and whip. Simple!
Redneck pro-tip: I used a chux kitchen wipe to strain instead of muslin or cheesecloth – works great!
500g/1lb grass/pasture fed beef fat or trim (makes around 2 cups tallow)
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
3–5 drops essential oil (see note 1)
Cut fat into small pieces and place in a saucepan or pot with high sides – this stuff is scorching hot as it melts)
Put a small amount of water in the bottom of the pan, set the heat to medium and stir occasionally. As the fat melts any skin and impurities will be left behind and appear as crackling.
The process will only take 20-30 minutes, keep an eye on it to ensure the grease doesn’t start smoking.
Strain rendered fat though muslin/cheesecloth into a glass or metal container – do not use plastic, it’ll melt!
The cracklins left behind in the cloth are technically edible, but they’re not as tasty as they look.
If you want to store your tallow, heat a clear jar in a microwave for 30 seconds to bring it up to temperature to take the hot fat, then pour the clarified tallow in and allow to cool. If you’re making the body butter, just leave it in the strained container.
Once cool, add the olive oil and essential oil and put in fridge until the mixture becomes solid.
Whip solid mixture with an electric beater and store in a jar.
Voila – body butter! Tallow can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a year, the whipped body butter can be stored at room temp for at least 4-5 months.
Note 1: You can use any essential oil you want for this recipe. Peppermint is nice for a refreshing change otherwise any of the floral ones will make it seem extra fancy. The oil is mainly to mask the tallow smell, which is mild in the jar but has no odour at all once it’s on your skin.