With today’s modern obsession with wellness, fats have quite often been sidelined in favour of leaner lubrication. However, both animal and plant-based fats are beginning to regain their foothold with things like the keto diet gaining a powerful following. Regardless of whether your customers are following a new faddy diet, what remains of paramount importance is flavour, and that’s where fat comes into its own.
Beef fat is the premier choice for frying fish as any decent chippy north of the Watford gap will prove. It’s no secret that beef fat is loaded with intense flavour and this should be exploited wherever possible. During these colder months the deep, intense, savoury notes of beef dripping is a powerful ingredient in the chefs arsenal. Capturing that fat from roast joints is the secret to a successful Sunday dinner and should be wielded over everything from the roast potatoes to caramelised onions.
When we look to confit, lard is most certainly an unsung hero playing second fiddle to duck fat. Yes, duck cooked in it’s own fat is a very marvellous thing, but embracing lard for this technique can deliver you startling results. Michael Ruhlman, a writer who has worked with Thomas Keller on the French Laundry book, as well as his own influential cookbooks is well known in certain circles for a recipe in his book Charcuterie that involves confiting pork belly in lard. This dish not only tastes incredible, but also works as a preservation technique and can allow chefs to do 90% of the cooking in advance, carving out a chunk of pork belly from the fat to finish on the line.
Perhaps the most influential dish that is centred around animal fat though, is unquestionably Fergus Henderson’s roast bone marrow and parsley salad. The rich gooey fat from veal marrowbones is spread over sourdough toast before being anointed with a parsley and caper salad. It’s a dish that rivals any trendy variant of avocado toast, being both tastier and more filling.
It’d be criminal not to mention butter in our exploration of fat. Vegetarian, but not vegan, this fat is responsible for untold victories in the kitchen. From lubricating shellfish, to laminating pastry, butter remains one of our most dependable ingredients that can help keep a roast chicken moist, and enrich sauces.
But plant based fats are still a force to be reckoned with and provide us with some great flavours. Our reliance on extra virgin olive oil is a case in point and provides the backbone to kitchens both commercial and domestic. Sesame oil has it’s heft and might that props up a wealth of Asian cuisines, while coconut oil breathes a refreshing lightness to foods and works particularly well to bind granolas.
Fats are most certainly our friend when cooking and no matter what kind of clientele we are catering to, we can always rely on a fat, plant based or animal, to keep our creations lubricated and satisfying. We have access to some of the finest, cleanest and purest fats available. Whether you’re looking for a pronounced nut based oil, or the pale white fat from dry aged meat, we can get it for you in prime condition.