If the birds  can get it ..."Why, ohhhhh, why can't IIIIII???" Ala Judy GarlandIf the damned birds can get it…Whyyyyy ohhhhhh why can’t IIII?” (ala Judy Garland )

Origin of the word “Suet” = Old French “su” (figures!) meaning  hard animal fat or tallow

“Suet was highly recommended for frying purposes. In England nothing but suet is used for frying. It is without odor. It is well to use a small amount of cottonseed oil with it. Cocoanut butter is good but then it is unnecessary to buy any frying material. Mutton suet is preferable to all other suets, but all the fiber must be carefully removed or tallow will be found on the plate on which it is served. In rendering suet keep water away from it.” — Jorgenson, Judith. Around The Evening Lamp. Des Moines, Iowa: Des Moines Daily News. 2 June 1896. Page 2.

Richard Ellis makes  the most delectable mince meat this side of England (I wonder why??). This year for Thanksgiving he made his mince tarts again but was complaining about not finding suet in the supermarkets (No kidding!!! but I ate as many of them as my tummy could hold anyway! ) This has always stymied me too as there are so many things I like to make that require this fat but you just can’t get it! Anyway , as I was cruising my world wide cookbook, I decided to find out if there is a substitute for suet. HEIDI hooo!!! You  bet your bottom there is!  Some people use lard, some people use grated frozen butter. The latter ,even frozen, might melt into the recipe a bit earlier than suet but what the heck. I did find a way to make suet, though and I think this  is worth a try.

From what I can see, suet comes from the fat around the kidney and loin areas of cow and sheep. Unlike other shortnings,  it doesn’t melt into the batter earlier in the cooking process , thus creating air pockets as the batters set, making them light. Evidently , a lot of people over here have a hard time finding suet so the question  has been asked and answered on a number of sites. James Oliver recomended using grated, frozen unsalted butter (maybe not) or frozen lard chopped up lard (a little closer), frozen Crisco (highest melting point after suet) , but I did find a recipe for making suet from trimmings you can get from the grocery store butcher (if you can find out when they may be trimming meat and such. Ask the butcher if he can give you trimmings from near organs or loin- maybe you might get lucky). The trimmings may not be from the kidney or loin areas  but what the hey! The following directions take that into account.

Multiple  people suggest to carefully trim out any membranes so later they don’t get stuck in your teeth. Put the fat in a baking dish and melt it in a hot oven (I would imagine this to be around 400 degrees). Seive out (use  cheesecloth) any solids that remain and pour into a large bowl to cool. As it starts to solidify, mix in ice water with a wisk or hand blender until it gets  very solid then pour off the  water andput in the fridge to cool and dry.

When this happens, roll into balls and after wrapping, freeze them as they keep very well frozen and easy to grate when you have to.

This sounds like a winner to me- The guy at Food Lion will be happy as well to get rid of some of his fat trash.

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