Tuesday Tip: Fat — To Have or Have Not?

And that’s a good question, right?  In one of my restaurant jobs I used to cook a pork tenderloin (or more) a day.  Since we butchered in-house we were able to keep as much fat on the tenderloin as we could.  It was really cool. Not only to butcher but also have the opportunity to choose the amount of natural fat we wanted to cook with.  The resounding philosophy being “fat=flavor”.  And it’s true!  In all the years I’ve been cooking and teaching I’ve always adhered to that philosophy. And with eating moderately it’s worked for me.  That said my metabolism has changed as I’ve matured. So what do I do?  I still cook with fat but then I remove it.  Therefore, keeping the flavor and removing the added fat and high caloric content. 

Last week I made pork butt in a crock pot.  I didn’t trim the meat.  Consequently there was a fair amount of fat when said and done.  Here’s what I did:

After the meat had cooked I let it cool to room temperature.  I then placed it (covered & in the same crock it cooked in) into the refrigerator overnight.  In the morning I took the crock out of the refrigerator.  Took the lid off the crock.  With a large spoon or spatula skimmed the layer of fat that had congealed while in the refrigerator.  As you can see in this picture the fat layer is white.  Place the fat in another container (for later use) or dispose it. 

And that’s your Tuesday Tip.  One easy way to keep flavor while removing fat (from any protein) after it has been cooked.  It’s just my way of getting around the question of “to have or have not”!