I've been rendering beef fat today. We recently had one of our bulls butchered and processed so I asked the butcher to save back some of the beef fat for me. He asked if I was making soap or something. Well, I'm not planning to make soap, but I'm rendering the fat into tallow for cooking and for my creams. Have you ever had French fries fried in beef tallow? Oh yummy! I recently heard about an all natural cream that is being sold online by Vintage Tradition which includes beef tallow as one of the main ingredients, so of course, I had to try making some for myself since I've been experimenting at making body butters, creams, and salves for a few years.
Rendering beef fat or any other animal fat is an old process that has mostly gone by the wayside, but I think it might be making a resurgence with the popularity of healthy, natural foods and beauty products. In the pioneer days of our country, nothing went to waste when butchering a beef or any other animal. And that included the fat. The white fat was rendered down and strained and the fat was saved to use for cooking, frying, baking, for pie crusts, for candles, and also for skin cream. It's been said that animal fat is very much like the oils in our own skin and so it makes sense that tallow creams would be very soothing and healing to our human skin.
A few months ago I made a couple small jars of "Beef Butter" (my name for it) to see what I thought of it. I really love it! The recipe I used can be found here at the Vintage Tradition website. The entire process, from rendering the beef fat to the making of the butter, is included so you can try your hand at it too. I thought it was very good of them to share their process. Basically, the recipe is to mix 8 or 9 parts melted tallow to 1 part olive oil and add essential oils to your liking. Since beef tallow alone is very hard and waxy, adding the olive oil gives it a more creamy texture. There are many testimonies of how the tallow balm has improved skin conditions like diaper rash, psoriasis, poison ivy, and cracked lips. Evidently, it works!
My own testimony is this. I have very dry feet. I have one foot that tends to crack right at the ball of the foot below the big toe. It can be very painful and hard to walk on when it does this. I would sometimes put some super glue on it to keep it from cracking deeper. Well, since I made the Beef Butter, I've been applying it somewhat regularly to my feet (but I often forget) and I have not had any cracking since using it. I also use it on my 53 year-old face. It soaks right in and leaves my skin very supple and moisturized. Of course, it also makes a good hand cream and over-all body butter. A little bit goes a long way. I like that it really soaks into the skin and doesn't sit on top of it like commercial lotions do. I have come to really hate that feeling of lotion suffocating my skin since I've been using my own natural oil creams and butters.
So today I've rendered down a quart+ of beef tallow and made three small jars of Beef Butter for myself and to share. A couple of my grandkids have rough, dry skin and one has eczema that flares up from time to time. We'll experiment with Beef Butter and see what happens. Have you ever tried tallow oils for your skin or for cooking and baking? Please tell!