I'm not sure that Jennifer McLagan did herself any favours by naming her cook book, 'Fat'!It's not the most appealing of book titles and those chops featured on the front don't really do justice to the variety of recipes in the book, which is actually really very good.
Whilst, these days, we may know everything about olive oil, we’re less aware of how to use lard and bone marrow. Jennifer McLagan offers extensive guidance on sourcing, rendering, flavouring, using and storing animal fats, whether bacon, schmaltz or suet. Stories, lore, quotations and tips round out this rich and unapologetic celebration of food at its very best.
The chapters are divided into different types of fat:
Butter: worth itButter recipes include: Butter Chicken, Salted Caramel Sauce and Pepper and Orange Pound Cake which is definitely on my 'to make' list. However, I had some sage leaves left over from making the Turkey Saltimboca so tried this recipe:
Spaghetti with Butter and Sage (serves 2)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g spaghetti (or tagliatelle)
115g unsalted butter
20 - 30 sage leaves
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti (I didn't have any so used tagliatelle), stir, and return to a boil. Adjust the heat so the water boils gently and cook until the spaghetti is al dente, 10-12 minutes. Drain well.
While the spaghetti is cooking, cut the butter into pieces and place them in a large frying pan over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted, add the sage leaves and cook, turning once, until the leaves are crisp and the butter begins to brown, about 7 minutes.
Add the cooked drained spaghetti to the frying pan and toss to coat with the sage butter sauce.
Season well with salt and pepper and serve immediately. For such a simple dish, this was absolutely delicious and made a quick and easy supper for me after my yoga class this week.
Pork Fat - The King!Recipes include: Country style Terrine, Dandelion Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing, Bacon Fat Spice Cookies
Poultry Fat: Versatile and Good for YouSimple Roast Chicken
One 1.4Kg free-range chicken
A large handful of mixed fresh herbs such as parsley, chives, tarragon and marjoram
1 large clove of garlic
100g unsalted butter, softened
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 230C. Pat the chicken dry, fold the neck flap under the bird, and secure it in place using the wings.
Set aside a few herb sprigs and chop the remainder; you should have about 1/2 cup. Using your hands, mix the chopped herbs and garlic into the butter until blended. Smear the herb butter all over the bird, placing a little inside the bird, too.
Season the bird well with salt and pepper. Place the bird in a roasting pan and squeeze the lemon juice over the top. Put the lemon juice over the top. Put the lemon halves in the bird's cavity with the reserved herb sprigs.
Roast the chicken for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste the chicken with it's own juices. Reduce the heat to 375F and continue to roast, basting occasionally, until the thigh juices run clear when pieced with a skewer or the temperature of the thigh registers 165F on on a kitchen thermometer, 45 - 55 minutes. Turn off the oven, open the oven door, and leave the chicken in the pan in the oven to rest for at least 15 minutes.
I pushed some of the herb butter up under the skin of the chicken as well as over the skin. It certainly kept the chicken moist and the sauce was really flavoursome.
More Poultry Fat recipes: Red Cabbage with Goose Fat, Cassoulet, Vegetable Cake
Beef and Lamb Fats: Overlooked but tastyRecipes include: Roast Beef with All the Trimmings, Suet Pastry, Bone Marrow in Red Wine Butter Sauce, Cape Malay Lamb Shoulder.
I would certainly recommend this book, there are loads of interesting facts about the different types of fat as well as a range of recipes for all tastes.