© Denzil Green
Dripping is the fat that drips from a beef joint during roasting. It is clarified to form a solid fat that is sold in 500 g (just over 1 pound) blocks. It is smooth and creamy when solid, like lard, and clear and golden when molten. You can also save your own dripping.
In the past, dripping was served as a spread and ‘bread and dripping’ was considered to be a real treat. Nowadays it is used mainly as a cooking fat – either for shallow frying meat, as a roasting fat for potatoes or to dot over a joint to keep it moist during cooking.
Dripping is good for roasting potatoes with, as nothing else seems to get them quite as crispy. The reason is that Dripping has a very high smoke point (480 F / 250 C) and a very high flash point (550 F / 290 C.) Fish and chip fans swear by chips cooked in dripping.
Goose fat is also very good to use as dripping.
Pure beef dripping has a multitude of uses, not least of which is basting your roast beef joints to keep them succulent whilst cooking. Dripping adds flavour to your meat, especially lean cuts. You can save and store dripping in the fridge for re-use. Many people swear that the taste isn’t at its best, in fact, on its first time out, and will supplement its use with a piece or two of bacon.
Good up to 9 months from when it was made, if kept in refrigerator. Store covered.
Literature & Lore
Mrs Beeton supplied a recipe for “A Nice Plain Cake” in her Book of Household Management, October 1861, Chapter XXXV, that calls for “1/4 lb. of good dripping”.