Paleo Kitchen Basics – Part 1
New year, new goals. You might be just starting with paleo as part of your new years resolution, or you have been eating paleo for a while and need to clean up your diet a bit after the holidays (I know I do). In addition, December was expensive, and I needed to go back to the basics, and focus on budget meals from my own kitchen. To aid in this I will post a series of posts this month about Paleo Kitchen Basics; all the necessary skills and recipes needed to cover the basics of paleo cooking.
Today I’m kicking of with part one: Make your own Ghee. Because ghee is one of my favorite cooking fats! Oh, just the smell of it… and I promise you that a steak tastes best when fried in ghee. Yum!
Ghee is a traditional Indian preparation of clarified butter. It is the pure butterfat that’s left over when the milk solids and water are removed from butter. It’s used widely in Indian cooking, and the word ghee is the Hindi word for fat. Some might think that Ghee is the same as clarified butter, but there s a difference. Although both are made by melting butter, cooking off the water and separating the clear, golden butter fat from the milk solids, when you make ghee, you have to leave it simmer for a while so that the milk solids brown which adds a slightly nutty flavor to the finished product.
The use of ghee has several advantages:
- Ghee is (almost completely) lactose-free (since we removed the milk solids) and can be consumed on a paleo diet (even Whole30 approved).
- Ghee is an excellent replacement for the vegetable and seed oils that we don’t want to consume on (like sunflower oil or canola, see this post). Since ghee has a high smoke point it’s suitable for high-heat cooking.
- Ghee has a long shelf life and can be kept at room temperature (when stored in an airtight container)
- Ghee adds depth and complexity to any dish… it just tasted damn good!
So now you might me wondering how to make this miracle golden cooking fat? Very easy!
All you need is a saucepan, a heat-proof container (I re-use glass containers or mason jars) and fine mesh strainer (great tip: use a reusable metal coffee filter) or cheesecloth, and you’re ready to go!
- 1 kg (2 pounds) high quality organic grass-fed butter
- Melt the butter over medium heat and bring butter to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat.
- The butter will form a foam; these are milk solids that will turn brown and sink to the bottom of the pan.
- Ghee is done when a second foam forms on top of butter, and the butter turns golden. Gently pour into heatproof container through fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
- Store in airtight container (does not need refrigeration) and will keep for up to 1 month.