Fact: If you’re not frying your chips in beef tallow, you’re eating garbage.
Remember when McDonald’s French fries used to taste delicious? That’s because they were cooked in beef tallow, a rendered animal fat that imparts tons of flavour during the cooking process.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint), the fast food industry has turned its back on beef fat in favour of “healthier” vegetable-based oils in a bid to clean up its image. The results are still pretty bad for you – but they also taste bland and lack crunch.
Personally, I feel that if you’re going to eat deep fried food, you might as well go all in. As with anything in life, it’s about moderation.
The good news is that it’s easy to make tallow-fried chips at home that taste just like the McDonald’s originals. Most butchers will happily sell you the product and you can even buy it in tubs from some supermarkets. (Duck fat is more common and provides a similarly decedent result.)
Unlike vegetable oil, tallow is a solidified fat that you need to melt in the pan – but don’t let that scare you off. Once it starts bubbling away, simply throw in the chips and cook until golden brown just as you would with regular oil.
My preferred method is to shallow fry shoestring fries before patting them down with a paper towel and covering liberally in salt. As an added bonus, tallow can be reused and can be stored anywhere – unlike some solidified fats, there’s not need for refrigeration.
Granted, if you make a habit of scoffing tallow-fried chips, you will probably die younger. But at least it will be with a smile on your face. Long live tallow!