marylebone farmers market

Posted on 09:36

Cake lady's stall - getting emptier as people realize she's selling everything half price

Let them eat bread
More bread and "londons best" choc brownie...which became 2 for £1 soon after...
Bad picture of 'fresh organic fruit' sign

Organic buffalo cheese, yogurt, and meat

Rendering fat and making pemmican

Posted on 15:27 In: ,
So after saving up lamb and beef suet/fat as well as pork fat, I finally decided to actually do something with it.
So i rendered fat for the first time, and i'm happy to say it was a very successful venture! It's so easy, and I have no idea why I was putting it off till now...
I rendered pork fat to make lard, and beef fat to make tallow, which I used to make pemmican! Another first timer...I'd never even tasted pemmican before but luckily I found my pemmican to be really tasty - it didn't taste like sawdust at all, which is how I've heard it being described as before.
If you've wondering what pemmican is, it is an energy dense food that was invented by the native Americans and was then adopted by European arctic explorers. The native Americans made it by drying lean game meat (eg buffalo) in the sun or over a fire, pounding it into a powder and mixing it with melted fat. Wild berries may occassionally have been added, although this may have been added by Europeans who had a sweet tooth. Pemmican is a great food when travelling as it is energy dense, and keeps for a long time (up to a couple of years!).

As for lard and beef fat, heres a couple of interesting facts..

-The fat is around 40% saturated, 48% monounsaturated and 12% polyunsaturated
-Is a very stable fat suitable for cooking
- contains 44% oleic acid (the main fatty acid in olive oil)
-Is high in vitamin D, which has been receiving alot of press recently as scientists find out more about how vital this vitamin is in preventing cancer, hormone regulation, and so much more.
Beef tallow
- Has a favourable omega 3 : 6 ratio which is vital to good health (more on that in another post)
-has immune enhancing saturated fats
-is high in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) which has potent anti-cancer properties
-is high in vitamin E

Ofcourse, all this only translates to fat from pastured animals that eat mostly grass or all grass (in the case of beef fat)

Butchers or farmers at farmers markets are usually happy to chuck in some free fat with your order, especially if you are a regular customer, so another benefit is that the fat can be free or very very cheap!
pork fat being rendered

Heres how I made the lard/tallow - the process is the same using fat from any animal....
To make rendered fat
1. Chop fat into small pieces
2. Put in a pan and turn the heat on low. You can dry render it or wet render it by adding some water to cover
3. Leave on low heat for a couple of hours until the fat melts and you have 'bits' in it which will either fry in the fat to form cracklings, or if there's water will just remain soft.
4. Drain using a cheesecloth into clean glass jars.

This is the pemmican in a glass bowl - Didn't make enough to form into bars

To make the pemmican...
1. Slice some beef into thin strips (freeze it for about half an hour first to firm it up) and dry in a dehydrator (about 105F/41C - this keeps the meat raw) or in a very low oven until very dry (it should snap when bent)
2. Grind up the dried meat in a blender/food processer/meat grinder so it is a powdery consistency - kinda like sawdust
3. Mix with melted beef fat (in a 1:1 ratio by weight). Add salt to taste if desired.
4. Form into whatever shape you like - eg by pressing into a baking pan, and let cool so it hardens
5. Cut and wrap in wax paper and store in airtight containers.
NB You can add dried unsweetened blueberries or cranberries if you want.

This post is for Fight Back Fridays

Dill Picklin'

Posted on 10:52 In:
Check out my picked cucumbers! They actually turned out tasting like commercial pickled gherkins but not so vinegary...

I havn't got a recipe per se....just dumped 3 small cucumbers into a glass jar, added about 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill, 2 tbps whey and water to cover, then let it sit out for about 3 days.