About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

My Complete Profile

Recent Posts
Zucchini & Pumpkin Salad
Carpetbagger Steak
Hot Sauce & Fiery Foods Festival
Technical Difficulties
An Australian Day
Careful What You Ask For
Phew - Christmas

1001 Dinners 1001 Nights
A Few of My Favourite Things
Abstract Gourmet
Apellation Australia
Becks and Posh
BurgerMary ATX
Cook (almost) Anything at least once
Cooking Down Under
Cook sister!
Cooked And Bottled In Brunswick
David Lebovitz
Deep Dish Dreams
Chef Paz
Chubby Hubby
Eating Melbourne
Eating With Jack
essjay eats
Food Lover's Journey
Grab Your Fork
I Am Obsessed With Food
I Eat Therefore I Am
Iron Chef Shellie
Just Desserts
Kalyn's Kitchen
Kitchen Wench
Matt Bites
Melbourne Gastronome
My Kitchen in Half Cups
Nola Cuisine
Not Quite Nigella
Nourish Me
Seriously Good
Souvlaki For The Soul
Stone Soup
Syrup and Tang
Steve Don't Eat It!
That Jess Ho
The Elegant Sufficiency
The Perfect Pantry
The View From My Porch
Thyme for Cooking
Tumeric & Saffron
tummy rumbles
What I Cooked Last Night
where's the beef
Vicious Ange

Food Blog Resources
Food Blog S'cool
I Eat I Drink I Work
Kiplog Food Links

Food for Thought
Autism Victoria
Autism Vox
forget me now
Lotus Martinis
MOM - Not Otherwise Specified
St Kilda Today

Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Goose Fat

It's funny how one picks up little bits of information that get stored away in the mind, until one day it just pops out. I've heard more than once or twice that goose fat makes the best roast potatoes, in fact, animal fats, especially lard and dripping, seem to add an extra dimension to fried and roasted potatoes. Until a huge outcry, McDonalds used beef fat to cook their famous fries - because they tasted better. When we grew up, pretty much everything was fried or roasted in animal fat. Times changed.

These days we use fairly neutral oils for the job, for the sake of our health, though recently I've noticed some claims for health benefits from animal fats, one of them centred on Omega 3 levels. Not that I was thinking about any of this, when a jar of goose fat came home with me late last year. It was just curiousity.

The other day, I spied a beautiful piece of pork shoulder at Ormond Meat & Smallgoods. I always buy pork from either Asian or Continental butchers as they usually never sell male pork. We have bought pork from supermarkets, but that is a real lottery. They sell both sexes, but male pork just has a distinct taste to it, even though in production, male pigs are castrated very young, in attempt to overcome the strong musky flavour that their hormones would otherwise imbue the meat with. It works, to a certain extent, but male pork always seems to have just a slight whif or odour about it, which also extends to the tastebuds.

In an aside, Zepp, the proprieter, was talking to me about meat quality in general after I had asked about the size of his T-bone steaks, which he cuts from yearling beef. He said his customers preferred a smaller size AND the tenderness that youth bestowed upon the steak. He went on to say that this quest for younger and therefore tender meat had impacted upon the health of people's teeth. It would seem that chewing a slightly tougher steak from an older animal is actually good for your teeth, not to mention it has much better flavour. But ever since the virtual demise of the superior, but more wasteful, dry ageing of whole carcasses in favour of cryovac aging, the age of slaughtered cattle has fallen.

After our conversation, the pork shoulder was slipped into my shopping bag and the planning for a roast meal started. It was later at home that I remembered the goose fat and resolved to roast our potatoes in it. The jar had been sitting happily in the cupboard and at room temperature, the fat, whilst not melted, was reasonably liquid and poured readily. It reminded me somewhat of duck fat as it had a similar smell, not unpleasant, but slightly gamey. I melted the fat and popped in the par boiled spuds and left them to roast under the pork, giving them an occasional baste.

It was quite a dinner that night. The meat was succulent and juicy, the crackling had just the right crunch, the creamy sauce had fresh porcini from the freezer, giving a wonderful mushroom flavour and the potatoes, what can I tell you. In my life, I've had one or two roast potatoes, but these were simply the best I've ever had, all golden and crispy, with a slight edge from the goose fat. Why did I wait so long?
  posted at 8:31 am

At 11:28 am, Blogger stickyfingers said...

Yes so delicious, and there is no real substitute. I grew up on the stuff - Goose fat & Duck fat in Hungarian food and ample amounts of lard and tasty peanut oil in the Asian cookery. Then I learnt about elevated cholesterol and heart disease, so cut them out of my cooking except for special occasions.

I adapted to the flavour of olive oil and to neutral canola for high temperature cooking. Occasionally though if I'm roasting pork, I'll put it on a rack and place the potatoes below to cook in the lard that drips off the roast.

Now my choesterol is a tiny bit over but I put that down to reviewing vanilla slices and meat pies on a weekly basis for my blogs.

At 2:25 pm, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Well divine Neil. Sometimes you just got to do what you got to do. Are these going to be the roasted potato you dream about every night and compare to every other potato that comes your way. Sounds like Legendary Potato to me.

At 9:45 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi stickyfingers, you are right, it really is special occasion stuff, but I do feel better about animal fats when compared to trans fats, everyone agrees, they are the real villians.

All those pies and vanilla slices, you are sacrificing your body to the greater good!

Hi tanna, I don't believe these will interfere with my dreams, which surprisingly aren't always about food! If I was out to impress though, these would be the potatoes to serve. The goose fat isn't cheap either, it's about $40kg.

At 4:02 am, Anonymous Jonathan said...

I cooked some duck confit last night and drained off the fat and fried some potatoes in them - crispy or what? :-)


Post a Comment

<< Home


Recipe Categories
Cakes & Desserts

November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
May 2009
June 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
July 2012

Prev ~ List ~ Random ~ Join ~ Next
Site Ring from Bravenet

Site Feed

counter easy hit

Blog Design by:

Image created by:
Ximena Maier

Powered by:

Photos, Original Recipes, and Text - (C) Copyright: 2005-2010
At My Table by Neil Murray, all rights reserved.
You may re-post a recipe, please give credit and post a link to this site.

Contact Me
Neil Murray

Follow messytable on Twitter