Mucky Fat Sandwich.

Description and Recipe provided by
David Williamson
South Elmsall, Pontefract. West Yorkshire.


Beef, or Pork, Dripping History:
Bread and beef, or pork, dripping was popular in the interwar years, especially among poor families hit by unemployment; such families could not afford to waste any food, including the by products of any meat they were lucky enough to be able to buy; dripping could also be bought at the butchers.

The dripping can be served cold, spread on bread and sprinkled with salt and pepper, known as bread and dripping, if the tasty brown sediment and stock from the roast has settled to the bottom of the dripping and colored it brown, then in parts of Yorkshire it is known colloquially as a Mucky Fat sandwich.

Traditional fish and chips were fried in beef dripping, as the pure refined dripping has a high smoke point of 280.C and a longer frying life than normal frying oils, and while this practice does continue in some old-fashioned chip shops, most shops now use vegetable oils; it was towards the end of the 20th century when dripping fell out of favour due to it being regarded as less healthy than vegetable oils such as olive or sunflower.

Dripping Ingredients:
It is basically the animal fats that run off a roasting joint, either pork or beef, it contains the brownish looking jelly that lurks on the bottom of your roasting tin; when solidified the lovely brown jelly will form a succulent layer on the surface of your dripping; it is similar to lard and is used for cooking.

It is traditionally described as the collection of the residue from meat roasts, but true preparation is from such residue added to boiling water with a generous amount of salt, about 2g per litre, the stock pot should be chilled and the solid lump of dripping, the cake, which settles when chilled should be scraped clean and re-chilled for future use; the residue can be reprocessed for more dripping and strained through a cheesecloth lined sieve as an ingredient for a fine beef stock.

Dripping Cakes or Drippers:
This is a traditional bread from Great Britain; the main ingredients are dripping, flour, brown sugar, spices, currants and raisins; the ingredients are mixed thoroughly and baked in an oven; variations of dripping cake can be found in Wales and in parts of England including Gloucestershire and Yorkshire.

Dripping can also be clarified by adding a sliced raw potato and cooking the mixture until the potato turns brown; the cake will be the colour and texture of ghee.

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