While I really ought to know better by now, I had some serious reservations about American Kobe tallow.
Sure, everything else on the half Wagyu, half Angus cattle we call American Kobe has been superb. Sure, everyone who’s tried it said it was a delicious must-have in the kitchen. But you know what? People also raved about bellbottoms and Snoop Dogg released a Christmas album. So you can’t take anything for granted, even if it has never failed you before.
There just didn’t seem to be a reason to switch from the stalwarts: Vegetable shortening, olive oils, butter, even bacon grease if you love yourself enough that day.
But you don’t need a reason to have a taste test. I believe the previous statement so much I’m going to have a plaque made.
Snake River Farms is based in Idaho, so our sample food was a no brainer. We made our own steak fries with rosemary and parmesan.
I was definitely wrong about the tallow.
Our stalwarts add very little to a deep fried meal. Vegetable shortening and most oils keep the potato flavor, or any other fried food, fairly neutral. That’s fine, if you’re the kind of person who thought Bob Dylan was better before he went electric.
The tallow, on the other hand, is bigger and bolder. For lack of a better term, it infuses a little meatiness into whatever you’re cooking. For the fries it accentuated the natural potato flavor and added its own robust, subtly beefy profile. You could almost say they went together like meat and potatoes.
We added some salt, pepper, rosemary and parmesan to outsize the awesomeness we’d already created and served it to a few friends. They liked the seasoning, but kept asking what else we put in it. These fries, they explained, had an extra something they just couldn’t put their finger on.
The other stuff in the final picture, in case you were wondering, is a bistro steak (shoulder tender) over roasted asparagus with a creamy shallot wine reduction.
So we’re tallow users now. When we aren’t making fries, we use it to make lesser meat taste better, saute vegetables and even for baking cupcakes.
Oh, and to Snoop: I’m sorry I lashed out. Let’s never fight again.
Here’s the recipe for the fries:
Idaho Russet Potatoes (quartered or cut into eighths lengthwise)
1 pound America Kobe Beef Tallow
Preheat your tallow on medium high to high in a cast iron pan or other deep skillet, until it reaches about 350 degrees.
Cut up the fries. You can make them as skinny or fat as you wish. If you don’t want the potato skin on, then stop everything, reevaluate your priorities and vow to do better tomorrow. If you insist on removing the skin the next day, then do so. We guess.
You’ll note we don’t have exact amounts on our ingredient list. They will vary depending on how many fries you want to make. In general, understand that more is more in this case.
Start placing fries in the tallow in batches. Don’t crowd them as this can cause the heat to dissipate too fast and lead to uneven or slow cooking. Leave the fries in for 5-8 minutes, until they are golden and crispy. Thicker fries will cook longer than thinner ones.
Place them on paper towels for a brief time to soak up excess tallow. Place them, while still hot and fresh from the fryer, into a bowl and season vigorously with salt, pepper. Also sprinkle in rosemary and parmesan (less is more). You can also decide to add minced garlic at this stage or a small amount of garlic salt. After a thorough coating of seasonings, place the fries in your serving bowl or plate and foil over the top to keep them warm.
Move on to the next batch. Repeat.
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