rendered beef kidney suet for chili recipe
found a great chili recipe that calls for rendered beef kidney suet
what's the deal? can you replace with chicken fat?
is it worth asking butcher for?
IMO Yes!!! Kidney suet is beef fat found along the side of the kidney and loin... To me it is the "Sweetest" fat on the animal...It is the only fat I will use to make Venison "burger" etc..Ask your butcher for it, and for your purpose ask him/her to grind it for you if you do not have a grinder...
Rendering before use strikes me as strange. But it that is the situation then by all means use any animal fat, depending on which flavour you prefer.
Rendered suet is tallow, the stuff cheaper candles used to be made of.
I use suet every year for my mincemeat. Take a chunk, remove the thicker membranes (they are sort of like plastic wrap - you'll see), don't worry about the finer ones, and put the suet in a rotary cheese grater and grate away. When you do this, it's like grating wax for making candles at home.... You can then melt it to make tallow (which you can use like any liquid fat - McDonald's french fries were fried in it until the 1980s in the US and have never recovered from the switch to all vegetable oil) or incorporate it into whatever you are making.
Any, suet has a unique flavor AND mouthfeel: it's waxy (see the theme here?) when it cools (which is why things made with suet should be warmed before serving), but it has a specially unctuous mouthfeel when warm. Lard and poultry fat do not replicate it.
re: Karl S
The mouthfeel has a lot to do with the melting point(s) of the fat. I added (s) because any natural fat is a mix, and different parts melt a different temperatures. Roughly I rank fats, from lowest to highest melting point:
olive oil - poultry - lard (pork) - butter - chocolate - beef - lamb - some baking margarines
butter and chocolate are close to mouth temperature.
Lamb is too high for my liking; it can easily leave a waxy coating on the roof of my mouth. The same goes for the fat often used in low-quality pastries. Lamb fat is fine when hot; beef fine when warm; pork and butter can be good even when cool or cold.
Fast food places like(d) to use beef fat for deep frying, in part because it is stable when used for long periods of time. And even after switching to vegetable fats, there were rumors that some chains used a beef fat flavoring spray on their fries.
I've used choped suet in a Christmas pudding. The chunks melt away during steaming, leaving voids, similar to those produced by baking powder in cakes. And since it was beef, the pudding was much better when warm than at room temperature.