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Dec 15, 2008 03:28 PM

Atora suet?

I'm looking for a commercial suet to use in a traditional Christmas pudding. I know many butcher shops carry chunks of real suet at this time of year, but I must admit I'm looking for the ultra-refined suet, preferably the Atora brand that is widely available in the UK. Any tips?

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  1. british supplies had some last year but they sell out fast this time of year. They are located in Plymouth. their phone number is: (877) 264-8586 and they have a website. That's the only store I've ever heard of having it before in the greater boston area. Otherwise their are plenty of websites that will mail it to you but the shipping usually makes it expensive

    1. Is that the suet equivalent of Armour/Snowcap lard - that is, rendered and molded into a butter-like brick?

      Funny, cuz I just picked up a bit of leaf suet this morning at the Malden Center Stop & Shop (they usually have it available - though I had to buy more than I needed, so I froze the rest to use either for the birds or later baking of some sort), peeled the membrane, put a couple of small pieces in my rotary cheese grater, and added it to my doctored mincemeat. Because mincemeat without some solid beef fat (preferably suet, but I've used sweet butter off-heat when I've been unable to get suet) just lacks the right mouth feel and flavor balance.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Karl S

        I've bought the butter-like brick of lard before for other things and it's different from the Atora suet. The stuff I'm looking for has a pellet -like appearance; it comes in a bag within a box. As I said, it's ultra-refined. The leaf suet is probably a much more authentic ingredient; after all, Dickens' Mrs. Cratchit wasn't busting open a box of Atora for her Christmas pudding. What can I say? I have an emotional attatchment!

        Your idea of grating suet is a good one and I will go with that if I can't find the stuff I used to use in the UK. Thanks.

        1. re: flourgrrrl

          All I do is peel the most visible membranes, cut a chunk across the grain and place the cut side down to be grated. The rotary grater, like a food mill or ricer, tends to keep any finer membrane in the hopper. It comes out like making finely shredded soap - which, of course, is one of the older uses of tallow... It melts and blends very easily.

        2. re: Karl S

          Please note:
          " Suet is beef (or mutton) fat, especially from around the kidneys and other organs. Suet is raw while the rendered product is called tallow

          Lard is rendered pig fat. It can be made from any fat on a pig but the highest quality is leaf lard, from around the kidneys "

          1. re: Peter B Wolf

            While that is true, the Atora brand of tallow is obviously called suet. The point of suet in mincemeat is to be melted. If you are using leaf suet, there's not much to render (that is, there's no meat/membrane, and relatively little water - I've checked this by melting it on its own). So in this instance, it's a distinction with less difference.

            1. re: Karl S

              Thanks, all. I guess I'll just suck it up and use a substiute. No one will know, I'm sure.