Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ghee Makes Everything Better

If you haven't tried ghee you are seriously missing out on one of life's greatest culinary delights. I love ghee. My kids love ghee. My man loves ghee. When I cook for other people, they marvel at how I can make even the lowly carrot taste so glorious. My secret? Roast it with ghee.


Have you seen that video, "Put a Bird On It"? Well, my lazy girl kitchen motto is 'put some ghee on it'. I don't think I can think of anything that doesn't taste better with ghee. A thick, plump, grass-fed rib-eye seared in ghee and sea salt is your ticket to taste-bud heaven, my friend.

I've tried purchased ghee and it was so different from what is made in my kitchen. It was bland, lacking that deep, rich flavour I've so come to love. Ghee, from grass-fed cows, is loaded with Omega-3 fat, vitamins A, D, and K2. It's also packing some CLA and wonderful unknown health promoting stuff that we don't even know how to label or breakdown. In Ayurveda, ghee is considered to be "sattvic", meaning that it has the essence of the grass and plants the cow munched on.

Ghee has a high smoke point making it ideal to cook with. Nothing tastes as delicious as some pastured eggs cooked in ghee or roasted veggies glistening with ghee and some coarse sea salt. It's my favourite way to cook veggies, any veggies, and it's always delicious. The flavour of the foods cooked in ghee is enhanced. There is something grounding about this food, a richness and a bounty in its qualities that evoke a sense of gratitude for being able to experience something so damn delicious.

I add some organic, virgin coconut oil to my ghee for a couple of reasons: it stretches the ghee (which can be pretty pricey if you're buying raw, grass-fed butter), coconut oil is also great for cooking with, it adds some MCTs and other goodies to the mix, and the taste remains true to the ghee if you just use a few tablespoons of the coconut oil.

Without further ado, here's what I do:
Start with some raw, grass-fed butter. If you can't find that, get some grass-fed butter. If you can't find that... that sucks, but you can use some organic, local butter. 

Put butter in a heavy cast iron, non-reactive pot. Put pot on medium high, when butter has melted and starts bubbling, bring temperature down to lowest setting.

As the butter melts, a film will form on the surface. Skim away this substance, which is the milk solids separating from the fat. Take care not to mix the butter when you do this, just skim along the top.

When the butter has formed a hard crust on the top and you can see some browning bits on the bottom, the ghee is ready. It should smell nutty and deep. Take care not to burn the butter, it should be golden, not dark brown. You want to cook all of the solids out, but you don't want to burn it.

I pour the ghee directly into a large, pourable glass container. From there, I have better control as I slowly pour the ghee for filtering. Line a sieve with cheesecloth, folded multiple times. Hang the sieve over a large, glass bowl and slowly pour the ghee through the cheesecloth. Be careful, it is so hot (says the girl with the sock saturated in hot ghee, sizzling away on her poor,  innocent toes). Allow the sieve to drip for a few minutes after you finish pouring. You can wash the cheesecloth after you're done and reuse it.

Doesn't that look glorious! So much good stuff in one little bowl! Once the ghee has cooled for a couple of minutes, I stir in some coconut oil. You don't have to do this part if you don't want to. From here, you just ladle the ghee into small glass jars. It will keep for months on end, especially in the fridge, although it will last for a long time without refrigeration as well.  That's all there is to it!

7 comments:

  1. I too have much love for ghee! I'll definitely have to try it with coconut oil next time but I'm wondering if you have any thoughts or experience adding lard to your ghee?

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  2. Hi Miguel,

    I haven't tried lard. I'm not a fan of eating lard, or using it on vegetables like I do with red palm oil, raw butter, ghee, and coconut oil. I do cook with it though. I just don't think I would like the way it would alter the taste of the ghee.

    Happy to hear of fellow ghee lovers :)

    Tara

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  3. Tara, I just stumbled on to your blog. Amazing ghee write up. I'm newly paleo but already reaping the benefits. Thanks for the info!

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  4. I've been making ghee with Kerrygold unsalted Irish butter, which is from grassfed herds. I buy Kerrygold from Trader Joe's because it's the lowest price and convenient (Costco's price is about the same but I only find salted Kerrygold at Costco). I usually make ghee batches with 4-6 eight oz bars at a time to save effort and time.

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  5. Hi Tara
    I live in Toronto and I have been searching for grass-fed dairy. I think you are from Ontario and if so I was wondering if you might have any suggestions as where to find some. I would love to find raw dairy as well, but I believe it is illegal here in Canada. Thank you so much
    Seth

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  6. Hey Seth,

    Check out the 'Hunting for Good Food' tab at the top of this page for suggestions on how to find raw milk in your area. It's challenging, you will not likely have much luck online. People are quite protective of their raw milk farmers because of how vulnerable they are to prosecution, but I'm confident that the suggestions I gave will be very helpful for you.

    Tara

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  7. This is a really great recipe! I am a site manager on Instructables.com. You should consider submitting this as an entry to our Can It! Challenge. We're giving away a bunch of Ball Canning Sets.

    You can check out the contest here: http://www.instructables.com/contest/canit/

    I would be happy to feature it on our site if you decide to post the instructions there and help get it noticed among our 10 million visitors. Let me know if you have any questions!

    Cheers!
    Carley
    carley@instructables.com

    ReplyDelete