Butter contains a high concentration of naturally occurring vitamin A, D, E and K especially from grass-fed cows; the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega 6 appear in a natural ratio, trace minerals including manganese, zinc, iodine and selenium. It can be used as a spread or for frying, roasting and baking.
Lard refers to the fat derived from the pig. It has high traces of vitamin D and the anti-microbial palmitoleic acid. It can be used for frying or as a spread.
Suet is the fat found around the kidneys and loins of beef and mutton. Many British recipes call for the use of suet – from pastry baking to traditional mince-pies and Christmas pudding. Suet is a good source of antimicrobial palmitoleic acid. If sourced raw, like meat, it must be refrigerated and eaten fresh within a few days. Since it is not pure fat but contains sinews and tissues it is typically shredded before used in baking. To make it more stable and in order to extract the fat and exclude the tissues and sinew, suet is typically rendered and turned into tallow (see below).
Chicken, duck, and goose fat
Sometimes referred to as “schmaltz” rendered chicken, duck and goose fat was common in north eastern European countries, especially amongst Ashkenazi Jews who were forbidden from eating butter and suet and who had no access to olive oil. In France goose fat is frequently used to add flavour and texture to dishes – particularly in the Gascoigne region where the population has the lowest rate of heart failure of any other developed country. Suitable for frying and roasting.
Tallow derives from suet (see above) which has been rendered. Rendering is a traditional form of processing the fat from the animal, typically by boiling the fat in water. Suitable for frying, roasting and baking.
Drippings refers to the fat collected from roasts and or fried meat. Similar to chicken, duck and goose schmaltz (see above), in English, usually (though not exclusively) drippings refers to the fat collected from beef. The rendered fat can be sieved through a cheese-cloth for a purer looking fat or just stored straight from the pan in a bowl. Excelled for frying and roasting.
Ghee, derives from butter and has been used for thousands of years in Asia particularly in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Ghee is a form of clarified butter in that the butter has been simmered to remove any residue. It contains all the same nutritional benefits as butter, with the exception that the hard to digest casein protein which forms part of the residue has been removed. Ghee has a very high smoking point and is an excellent fat with which to fry. Tastes delicious in most foods and is highly recommended for use.