Suet is the raw, hard fat of beef or mutton found around the loins and kidneys.

Calf suet

Suet has a melting point of between 45 °C and 50 °C (113 °F and 122 °F) and congelation between 37 °C and 40 °C (98.6 °F and 104 °F). Its high smoke point makes it ideal for deep frying and pastry production.

Tallow-beef suet after rendering

The primary use of suet is to make tallow, although it is also used as an ingredient in cooking, especially in traditional puddings, such as British Christmas pudding. Suet is made into tallow in a process called rendering, which involves melting and extended simmering, followed by straining, cooling and usually by repeating the entire process. Unlike tallow, suet that is not pre-packed requires refrigeration in order to be stored for extended periods.

EtymologyEdit

The word suet /ˈs(j)ɪt/ is derived from Anglo-Norman siuet, suet, from Old French sieu, seu, from Latin sēbum ("tallow", "grease", "hard animal fat").[1] Sebum is from the Proto-Indo-European root *seyb- ("pour out, trickle"), so it shares a root with sap and soap.[2][3]

TradeEdit

In the 17th century economy of the Viceroyalty of Peru, Chile's husbandry and agriculture based economy had a peripheral role exporting mainly suet, ch'arki and leather to the other provinces of the viceroyalty. The importance of this trade led Chilean historian Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna to label the 17th century the century of suet (Spanish: siglo del sebo).[4]

CuisineEdit

Suet
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy3,573 kJ (854 kcal)
0 g
94 g
Saturated52 g
Monounsaturated32 g
Polyunsaturated3 g
1.50 g
MineralsQuantity %DV
Zinc
2%
0.22 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Cholesterol68 mg
Selenium0.2 mcg

Fat percentage can vary.
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Suet is found in several traditional British dishes. Suet pastry is soft in contrast to the crispness of shortcrust pastry, which makes it ideal for certain sweet and savoury dishes. Suet is most widely used in sweet puddings, such as jam roly-poly and spotted dick. Savoury dishes include dumplings, which are made using a mixture of suet, flour and water rolled into balls that are added to stews during the final twenty minutes or so of cooking. In the savoury dish steak and kidney pudding, a bowl is lined with suet pastry, the meat is placed inside and a lid of suet pastry tightly seals the meat. The pudding is then steamed for approximately four hours before serving. Suet is also an ingredient of traditional fruit mince (known as 'mincemeat' in the UK).

Due to its high energy content, suet is used by cold weather explorers to supplement the high daily energy requirement needed to travel in such climates. Typically the energy requirement is around 5,000–6,000 Cal per day for sledge hauling or dog-sled travelling.[5] Suet is added to food rations to increase the fat content and help meet this high energy requirement.

Properties of common cooking fats (per 100 g)
Type of fat Total fat (g) Saturated fat (g) Mono­unsaturated fat (g) Poly­unsaturated fat (g) Smoke point
Butter[6] 80-88 43-48 15-19 2-3 150 °C (302 °F)[7]
Canola oil[8] 100 6-7 62-64 24-26 205 °C (401 °F)[9][10]
Coconut oil[11] 99 83 6 2 177 °C (351 °F)
Corn oil[12] 100 13-14 27-29 52-54 230 °C (446 °F)[7]
Lard[13] 100 39 45 11 190 °C (374 °F)[7]
Peanut oil[14] 100 17 46 32 225 °C (437 °F)[7]
Olive oil[15] 100 13-19 59-74 6-16 190 °C (374 °F)[7]
Rice bran oil 100 25 38 37 250 °C (482 °F)[16]
Soybean oil[17] 100 15 22 57-58 257 °C (495 °F)[7]
Suet[18] 94 52 32 3 200 °C (392 °F)
Sunflower oil[19] 100 10 20 66 225 °C (437 °F)[7]
Sunflower oil (high oleic) 100 12 84[9] 4[9]
Vegetable shortening [20] 100 25 41 28 165 °C (329 °F)[7]

AvailabilityEdit

 
Packaged suet

Suet can be bought in natural form in many US supermarkets.[21] As it is the fat from around the kidneys, the connective tissue, blood and other non-fat items must be removed. It then needs to be coarsely grated to make it ready to use. It must be kept refrigerated prior to use and used within a few days of purchase, just like meat.

Pre-packaged suet sold in supermarkets is dehydrated suet. It is mixed with flour to make it stable at room temperature. Because of this, some care is needed when using it for older recipes that call for fresh suet as the proportions of flour to fat can alter. Most modern recipes stipulate packaged suet.

Cultural and religious restrictionsEdit

Consumption of suet is forbidden according to the Jewish religion as it was reserved for ritual altar sacrifices. This restriction only applies to those animals which were used for sacrifices, and thus does not include wild animals such as deer.

Bird feedEdit

 
Red-breasted nuthatch feeding on suet

Suet-based bird feeders are favoured by woodpeckers, goldfinches, juncos, cardinals, thrushes, jays, kinglets, bluebirds, chickadees, nuthatches, wrens, and starlings.[22]

Bird feed is commonly used in the form of cakes of suet, which can be made with other solid fats, such as lard. Rolled oats, bird seed, cornmeal, raisins, and unsalted nuts are often incorporated into the suet cakes.[23]

Suet-based recipesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ GILLELAND, JEANNE RIDEOUT (1980). "Anglo-Norman Siuet, Source of English Suet". Zeitschrift für französische Sprache und Literatur. 90 (3): 248–250. JSTOR 40616857.
  2. ^ Kirkpatrick, Andy (June 17, 2010). The Routledge Handbook of World Englishes. Routledge. ISBN 9781136954566 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ https://www.linguisticsociety.org/sites/default/files/1972_searchable.pdf
  4. ^ {es icon} [Sergio Villalobos|Villalobos, Sergio]; Retamal Ávila, Julio and Serrano, Sol. 2000. Historia del pueblo Chileno. Vol 4. p. 154.
  5. ^ Nutritional Requirements in Cold Climates, Rodahl, Kaare; JN - The Journal of Nutrition
  6. ^ "Butter, stick, salted, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h The Culinary Institute of America (2011). The Professional Chef (9th ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-42135-2. OCLC 707248142.
  8. ^ "Oil, canola, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  9. ^ a b c "Nutrient database, Release 25". United States Department of Agriculture.
  10. ^ Katragadda, H. R.; Fullana, A. S.; Sidhu, S.; Carbonell-Barrachina, Á. A. (2010). "Emissions of volatile aldehydes from heated cooking oils". Food Chemistry. 120: 59. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2009.09.070.
  11. ^ "Oil, coconut, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Oil, corn, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Lard, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  14. ^ "Peanut oil, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  15. ^ "Oil, olive, extra virgin, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Rice Bran Oil FAQ's". AlfaOne.ca. Archived from the original on 2014-09-27. Retrieved 2014-10-03.
  17. ^ "Oil, soybean, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  18. ^ "Beef, variety meats and by-products, suet, raw, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Sunflower oil, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  20. ^ "Shortening, vegetable, nutrients". FoodData Central. USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  21. ^ Randal, Oulton (2001-05-12). "Suet". CooksInfo.com.
  22. ^ "Suet | Baltimore County Library System". Archived from the original on 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  23. ^ "Attractwildbirds.com". Archived from the original on September 5, 2010.