Several of my recipes call for suet. I’ve never seen suet at the market. Is it readily available? Do you have to ask for it specifically at the butcher counter? Is there something else that can be used instead (like bacon fat or something)?

Wow. That’s a toughie. Sometimes Kroger has suet in the fall bird-feeding season (you hang it on trees for woodpeckers). Ask the meat counter person, they might have it in the back.

Whoops, hit submit too soon.

No, suet and bacon fat behave differently, not to mention the fact that bacon fat tastes and smells like bacon. Suet’s just this inert very rich fatty substance. And it behaves differently from lard, too.

No, if you’re making Figgy Pudding (yes?) you pretty much gotta have the Real Thing. Specialty butcher shops will always have it, but ask at Kroger first.

We get ours from a Real Butcher Shop[sup]TM[/sup].

But be careful…not many people use suet anymore and many butchers assume that you want it for bird feed.

The first time we asked for it, one of the guys went back to get some, and another butcher asked what we wanted it for. When we told him that we were making Real Mincemeat[sup]TM[/sup], he quickly yelled back to the first guy and told him to cut us some suet rather than sweep it up off the floor!:eek:

Don’t use bacon fat, it tastes of, well, bacon.

If you live in striking distance of a British speciality store, then they’ll have some

mmmmm…plum duff …drool

Try here for an online solution (even if it is the vegetarian variety).

Actually, since real suet is made from the insides of mad British cows, then your only choices are the veggie solution or grating it yourself from a cow’s stomcah lining.

You might get away with shortening, but is that a risk you want to take?

Would lard work as well? You can usually find that in the freezer case somewhere near the frozen birds (turkeys, etc.)

I was thinking of plum pudding, but I have several recipes that call for it.

Oh – What is “mixed peel”? Orange peel? Lemon peel? Potato peel? Emma Peel?

Well, the stuff we export to you guys is, we keep the good stuff for ourselves. It’s a little-publicised exchange programme: you got infected cow parts and the Spice Girls, we got a bunch of Bruce Willis pictures.


Yes, yes, no and yes. The citrus peel is candied and comes in boxes. Emma has to have her arse spanked with a wooden spoon before you add her to the mix.

Hope this helps.

Managed to find candied orange and lemon peel for sale on the Web, “candied orange lemon peel supplies”, the magic Google word seems to be “supplies”.

Maybe somebody should move this thread over to Cafe Society, as it seems to be turning into a recipe thread?

I don’t know if this is really suet, or some bird-feeding approximation:

It’s also worth pointing out that the suet sold for bird-feeding is not approved for human consumption. It might be just fine, but there are no guarantees about the conditions under which it was produced.

According to the Fanny Farmer Cookbook is the fat found around the beef kidney area. It is supposed to be tasteless unlike many other fats such as bacon or lard and that’s why it’s used in pudding recipes. I’ve never been able to find any hereabouts even at the meat shops, I suppose because they receive their beef already butchered. I’ve had pretty good results substituting vegetable shortening in my christmas pudding recipe though.

The missing word is, of course, the whole point.

Suet is the fat found around the kidney area.

Yes, it is in fact kidney fat which is very pure and melts quite easily. Fine stuff…

Oh, and most of the time I worked in the meat market, it fell off the carcass beef (so the floor in the cutting room would be the first place to look for it).

Here in the UK we can buy dried suet in a box which will last quite a while . I doubt if many butchers sell suet now. Also for those people who want it there is “vegetarian suet” which is made from vegetable oil and is supposed to have the same texture and qualities as the real thing. I prefer the real stuff.

Shoshana, those are instructions for rendering suet for bird feeders–it keeps longer if you can get the little bits of meat out of it, which is what melting it and straining it does.

I would assume that any suet purchased at the grocery store (e.g. Kroger) would be required to be suitable for human consumption, because Kroger is in the “People Food” business, not the “animal food” business. If you want to buy suet at Kroger and stick it in a bird feeder, that’s your business, but I’d think that the various regulatory agencies would require anything sold at a Kroger meat counter to be fit for human consumption.

By the same token, they sell beef bones at Kroger that you can either take home and make into soup or give to the dog, but they’re still “food-grade” beef bones.

Now, OTOH suet that you bought down at the feed store would probably not be human-consumption grade.

I’ve never had any trouble buying suet at the grocery store here in Canada, particularly close to Christmas - must be the British influence. (Which reminds me - I should get going on the Christmas mincemeat.)