Upgrade Your Roasted Potatoes With Beef Drippings

As people focus on cutting food waste, a great place to start is the drippings from your home-cooked beef. Often discarded, beef drippings are a flavorful leftover from any piece of beef. According to Atlas Obscura, when cooked, beef fat is rendered into a clear liquid and solidifies once it becomes cool. Another name for beef drippings is tallow, which Butcher Magazine says is making a comeback in cooking because it works well as part of the paleo and keto diets

During the frugal days of World War II, beef fat and the accompanying fond were often used to flavor recipes or make a dish called "bread and dripping," per Atlas Obscura. During the war, the British would spread the solidified drippings onto bread with a bit of salt and pepper before eating it cold. Not only did this prevent waste, but it also provided necessary calories when food was in short supply. After World War II, tallow was passed over in favor of vegetable oils, which were viewed as a healthier alternative. 

Tallow has many uses in cooking, but trust us when we say this savory byproduct pairs much better with roasted potatoes than cold bread slices. 

Perking up your potatoes

With potatoes often accompanying beef on the dinner table, it makes sense that beef drippings can be used to flavor roasted potatoes, per Saucy Dressings. A classic recipe from The Irish Times calls for about a tablespoon of beef drippings per pound of potatoes. To prepare them, heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, liquefy the beef drippings in a baking tray, then coat the potatoes in the drippings and roast in the oven for about 40 to 45 minutes.

Serious Eats takes a different approach when using beef fat to flavor roasted potatoes and recommends boiling the potatoes (in alkaline water for the best texture) on the stovetop until the potatoes are softened. In a separate saucepan, heat the beef drippings with minced garlic and rosemary, then strain the infused oil. The potatoes can then be coated with the oil and roasted in the oven. The result? Crispy and flavorful potatoes that will make a delicious side dish to a weeknight meal or a special holiday dinner.