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Pork Fats

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

Leaf Lard—Is the pure fat of the hog which surrounds the kidneys and is usually put up in cone shape and flat pieces.

Neck Fat (Jowls; Skin On and Skin Off)—Is the fat cheek of the hog. Used largely by sausage manufacturers.

Caul Fat or Hog Cauls—Is the fat covering the intestines.

Kettle Rendered Lard—Is usually made from pure leaf lard, back fat and pork trimmings and also the caul and ruffle fats. As the name indicates, kettle rendered lard is rendered in an open kettle.

Prime Steam Lard—Is made from all edible fats from the packing plant and is usually refined. The refining process is as follows : The rendered lard is pumped into a refining tank. Fuller's earth is added to absorb the coloring matter in the fats. From the bleaching or refining tank, the lard is pumped to a filter press where the Fuller's earth is extracted. From the filter press the lard is usually run into an agitator, and from there to a lard cooling cylinder and 'into the container.

Neutral Lard—Is a product rarely handled in meat markets. It consists of the best leaf lard, rendered at a very low temperature in a water-jacketed kettle. As the name indicates, this lard is neutral in flavor and taste.

Compound or Compound Lard—Is also frequently called shortening, and consists principally of cotton seed or other vegetable oils mixed with a small percentage of edible tallow or oleo stearine.

Other Fats Sold in the Retail Meat Market

There are also quite a few other fats sold in the retail meat market under various trade names which are known as hardened or hydrogenated fats and oils. Technically speaking, the hydrogenated fat is a stearine. Products of this nature consists principally of cot-ton seed, soya-bean, peanut or other vegetable oils.

By processing these oils, usually by the electrolitic method with pure hydrogen, and by mixing them with various catalyzers, the oil is hardened to the consistency of tallow, lard or other edible fats.

Definition of Oleomargarine

Oleomargarine is a mixture of fats, salt and milk, made in imitation or semblance of butter.

There are two types or kinds of oleomargarine. One kind is made of vegetable fats, salt and milk, and is usually called nut margarine. The other kind is made of animal fats, vegetable fats, salt and milk and is called animal fat oleomargarine or simply oleomargarine.

Oleomargarine is known by several names, as "margarine" and "butterine." Margarine is the best name for the product.

Utilizing Waste Products

One of the great economic problems which confronts the majority of retailers is the utilization of perfectly good products which usually go to waste in the retail market. This pertains primarily to beef fats which are a part of the beef; for which the retailer pays the same price as for the actual, salable meat.

Loss on Fats Extensive

In a great many localities, traditions exist which practically compel retailers to give away a great deal of this fat. Besides, much of this wholesome fat which is in small pieces when trimmed off of steaks, usually goes into the waste basket to be sold as shop fat at about 2 1/2c to 3c per lb. In other words, a retailer paying 15c for straight cattle finds that for a lot of the fat for which he has paid 15c he can get only 3c per lb. This represents a depreciation of 12c per lb.

This fat, if it had originally been retained in the packing plant, would not have depreciated so much, as it could have been converted into oleo fats.

Possible Solutions

This is a problem which is receiving serious attention and consideration by the packing industry in the hope of finding a means of overcoming this great economic waste.

The retailers themselves, however, can help eliminate this waste by various methods. The simplest one would be, of course, to trim off less fats, but since this cannot be done generally, other ways and methods must be found to utilize this expensive waste product.

In the Eastern Seaboard and Metropolitan Boston district the fat waste is of great importance because heavy beef is cut up. This matter, however, may not be of so much importance to a Texas retailer who uses every ounce of fat for chile con carne, or to the retailer who handles such lean beef as to make it necessary for him to go out and buy fat. The great majority of meat handled, how-ever, is of such kind and quality that there is usually a minimum of 5% of good fats which partly go to waste. While this may be a fair average figure, there are markets handling heavy beef where the percentage of fat waste will be much higher.

Saving Small Pieces

When proper methods are used to prevent fats from going to waste by converting them into commercial articles, it will be found that many pieces of good fats and suet which now go into the waste basket can be put in a separate container and used for edible purposes.

There are, of course, markets which use a great deal of fat by chopping it into hamburger, but since hamburger is supposed to be strictly meat, with very little fats, such practice cannot be recommended.

Fats Must Be Clean

There is one very important point to be observed when trying to convert fats of any kind into commercial or salable products, namely, that they must be absolutely clean, fresh and pure, and since the average market has only a very limited amount of these fats, they should be handled daily, if possible.

If fats are not clean they should be washed thoroughly in cold water, but all moisture should be removed from them before they are converted. Various methods by which these fats can be utilized are as follows :

Rendered Beef Fat

Very little equipment is required to render small amounts of fat. A small kettle and a little gas stove are practically all that is necessary. Beef fats put through a grinder will render quicker than if not cut up. They should be rendered in an open kettle, at low temperature, and actively stirred during the rendering. The resulting product will be a pure beef fat which can be drawn off in half-pound and pound wooden containers. After thoroughly cooling in the refrigerator, this product can be sold as shortening or home-made beef fats. Beef fats of this kind, and especially if from kosher cattle, are in demand by the Jewish trade, and the retailer will find that by using some salesmanship he can dispose of considerable surplus fats this way.

Retailers having rendering equipment available should be careful not to render this product in a closed vessel by direct application of live steam, as that cooks the product under pressure and when finished is a tallow instead of an oleo fat. It should be melted and not rendered. Too large a quantity of this product should not be made at one time, as on account of its hardness it may crumble. Limited quantities can always be made and sold fresh this way.

Mixing Beef Fats

Another simple method of disposing of surplus beef fats is to render them in a small open kettle and then mix with about equal portions with lard. The retailer who makes his own lard will, of course, find it a very simple method to 'dispose of his surplus beef fats this way. The retailer who has no lard equipment will find it very simple to re-melt his lard and mix the melted beef fat in with the lard, and sell the product as beef fat and lard—or lard with beef fat added.

The retailer, however, must be careful not to use and sell this product as coming from a packer, as it may result in his being accused of misrepresenting a packer's product.

Mixing With Compound

The same procedure used in mixing beef fats with lard can also be used for mixing it with compound, or what is known as Compound Lard. This consists usually of 80 to 90% oil, and 10 to 20% fats, which are of the same quality and hardness as beef fats.

The compound can be mixed with the beef fat equally as well as with lard, but great care should be taken in mixing it to avoid over-heating.

Other Methods of Using Surplus Fats

Surplus fats have always been disposed of extensively by rolling into roast beef, rolled pot roasts, etc., but when the retailer realizes the importance and the value of the product a great many more uses can be found for the utilization of surplus fats. Some retailers sell fats for larding pot roasts and other roasts. Some flatten out suet and use pieces of it to place around special roasts, and even steaks.

The extent to which uses can be found for the utilization of this product depends somewhat on the locality of the market, and also the merchandising ability of the retailer.

Patties and Croquettes

While there are some markets which make a specialty of patties and croquettes, certain localities use extensively such meats as may go to waste—such as lamb trimming from French lamb chops, veal trimmings from French veal chops, flanks from lamb or veal, or pieces of neck or other parts which cannot be readily sold.

Croquettes are simply chopped meats made into a round form, garnished, and usually have a piece of fat or bacon, and in some instances, a piece of cod fat or suet around them.

Other By-Products

A surplus of corn beef can be worked into pressed corn beef for which a recipe is given in the chapter on "Sausages and Bolognas."

End pieces of ham are also stickers in certain markets. It has been found that if they cannot be worked up into salads or certain cheeses, a simple method of disposing of them is to make them appear as attractive as possible, and, if necessary, take off the skin and display them nicely and prominently on a platter.

Retailers will find that all such products which can be made from good, clean, edible waste meats can be more successfully disposed of when attractively displayed.

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