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looking for Beef Suet - for baking, online sources?

egoddard Dec 1, 2010 08:41 AM

I'm looking for a mail/internet source for Beef Suet suitable for baking. Every local butcher/specialty shop I've gone to or called in the St. Pete/Tampa FL area does not have it, nor will they get it. Every year it seems harder and harder to come by. Does anyone have a reliable online/mail source? Thanks!

  1. s
    Sal Vanilla Dec 1, 2010 10:53 AM

    Your butcher has no beef fat? What the?? Go to Publix or Winn Dixie (the beef people - are they still around your parts?) and have a chat with the butcher or any other place where they cut their own meat. Ask them for their hard beef fat trimmings. That is best to get fresh and local. Maybe they do not know what suet is?

    1. a
      aziline Dec 1, 2010 12:53 PM

      It's also called kidney fat.

      Our plant stopped packaging it this year so I'm not suprised it's hard to fine.

      1. a
        andrewtree Dec 1, 2010 07:15 PM

        US Wellness Meats stock it;

        1. hill food Dec 2, 2010 12:08 AM

          or ask for tallow, I played "stump the butcher" at what I was sure would be a source and they just looked at me like I was crazy. I can only suggest a rural meat locker and place a request ahead of time. it does seem silly you can buy lard, but not suet. all the online things I found were seed studded for birdfeeders.

          2 Replies
          1. re: hill food
            paulj Dec 3, 2010 12:44 PM

            At one time tallow candles were the best that most people could afford. Bee's wax was only for the wealthy.

            1. re: paulj
              pdxgastro Dec 3, 2010 06:28 PM

              Oh yes, I read all about the history of lighting in this great book, "Brilliant:the evolution of artificial light", by Jane Brox.

          2. EWSflash Dec 3, 2010 06:41 PM

            "You are old, said the youth, and your jaws are too weak
            For anything tougher than suet.
            Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak.
            Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

            "In my youth, said the old man, I took to the law,
            and argued each case with my wife.
            And the muscular strength that it gave to my jaw
            Has lasted the rest of my life."

            Just reminded me of that bit from Alice in Wonderland, the book by Lewis Carroll.

            What is suet, exactly, besides some kind of winter bird feed?

            5 Replies
            1. re: EWSflash
              hill food Dec 3, 2010 07:05 PM

              technically it's the hard fat of a cow usually trimmed off by the butcher, that's been rendered down like lard. it's what McDonald's once used to fry their french fries in and what Hostess once used for the shortening in the creme filling in their treats. It even used to show up in Altoids until the early-mid 90's.

              1. re: hill food
                j8715 Dec 4, 2010 04:14 PM

                I've read that Marco Pierre White also prefers it for fries. I'm guessing it is one of those things that is bad for you so science came up with something to replace it that tastes like science and is still bad for you.

                For the original poster. . . Are you trying to make some sort of bread pudding?

                1. re: j8715
                  hill food Dec 4, 2010 04:24 PM

                  it's really not that much worse for you, IIRC it was dumped in response to mounting pressure from an anti-meat/cholesterol sentiment (course if you're in McD's quite often or snarfing Twinkies I'd say health isn't at the top of your priority list) I suppose using vegetable oil does mean there is at least one thing on the menu a vegan can eat.

              2. re: EWSflash
                elizard_e Dec 8, 2010 10:30 AM

                The suet used in British recipes (like xmas pudding & mincemeat) is the hard fat from around the cow's kidneys, usually grated. It's different from the suet used as bird feed, and astonishingly hard to find in the US, as I'm discovering.

                1. re: elizard_e
                  grayelf Dec 8, 2010 03:49 PM

                  It's getting harder to find here in Vancouver but we manage to scare it up annually for our Christmas pud. It's a Depression-era recipe that substituted carrot, potato and suet for figs and butter because of cost/lack of availability. The last few years I've surprisingly found suet at Safeway in the frozen meat section so maybe try a couple of supermarkets in your area before you go online.

              3. e
                egoddard Jan 19, 2011 05:37 PM

                UPDATE: ordered it from Ask The Meatman (http://www.askthemeatman.com/bird_fee...) after noting that they confirm that it true suet and "suitable for human consumption" (though not from USDA inspected meat). Anyway... it arrived quickly, was still cold and was the real deal. Christmas was saved! Now I have enough for the net 7 christmas puddings. Thanks to all who replied.

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