Goose fat is the cooking fat rendered from the flesh of geese. Unlike other animal fats such as lard (pork fat) or tallow (beef fat), there is no other specific name for goose fat. However, it’s called “schmaltz” in Germany. In which, it can also refer to chicken fat.
Nevertheless, it has a cream to yellow color, which is largely caused by the geese’s diet. At room temperature, goose fat is semi-solid – think of spreadable butter with a yellower shade. Between 77 to 99ºF, it will start to melt and become liquid. At 375ºF, it’ll start to smoke.
Goose fat is, perhaps, the best-tasting cooking fat in the world. It’s highly noted and valued for its distinct taste, especially in Europe, where it originated. It’s rich and flavorful but it’s milder in aroma and taste compared to lard. In the late 1980s, it was imported to France. But still, it wasn’t until the year 2006 when it became popular.
Goose Fat Trivia
- Chef Nigella Lawson hailed goose fat as ‘the essential cooking ingredient to guarantee the tastiest Christmas roast’ in 2006. This triggered the popularity of goose fat in the market.
- The very mild fatty scent of goose fat is almost undetectable.
- The province of Gascony in France, where goose and duck fat is consumed regularly, has one of the lowest incidences of cardiovascular disease in the world.
Goose Fat Buying Guide
Goose fat is quite hard to find in Texas. Unlike duck fat, it’s not commonly available in grocery stores. Unless you order it online, you can only see many choices in the farmers’ markets. However, looking at the brighter side, it only means that if you found one, it’s more likely to be fresh, local, and more flavorful.
Nevertheless, when buying goose fat, check the expiration date. Such products could only last up to a year and you won’t need to use a lot, unlike oils. Consider your usage before buying one as well.
Goose Fat Production & Farming in Texas
Geese are widely raised in the state of Texas. Many local farms are raising different breeds that you can purchase not only online, but also in the farmers market.
When it comes to the production of goose fat in Texas, it’s pretty straightforward. It involves minimal processing, yet it can provide an outstanding taste. Basically, goose fat is either drained from a roasted goose meat or rendered from a trimmed whole geese.
Pesticides, additives, and chemicals:
Unless the product is mixed with some other flavorings, or it’s not pure at all, goose fat is stable enough that it doesn’t need any additives.
Goose fat usually comes in mason jars or gallon tubs.
Enjoying Goose Fat
Goose fat is eaten just like butter. Likewise, it enhances the flavor and texture of the food, making anything taste better and with a buttery mouthfeel.
One of the most traditional and famous dishes to use, though, is the goose fat roasted potatoes. And, if you have an air fryer at home, you may also fry your potatoes in goose fat. Still, in most recipes including the two mentioned, you would only need a few tablespoons of goose fat because it does not evaporate like oils.
Goose fat should be kept in a container with a tight-fitting lid. It should then be stored in the refrigerator, where it would last for about a year unopened and three months when opened. You may also store it in the freezer, where it could last indefinitely.
Since goose fat is predominantly monounsaturated, it is resistant to oxidation when exposed to heat. It also has a considerable amount of saturated fat, which is the most heat-stable type of fatty acids. Thus, it can stand up to high temperatures well. Goose fat works perfectly with anything from eggs and potatoes to greens and meats. It also makes an indispensable ingredient in making duck confit.
Make your own Goose Fat:
If you find some goose meat at the farmers’ markets, or if you have some at home, it’s very easy to make your own goose fat. Below is a quick recipe that’ll help you get started.
- Pope’s nose or the tail of the bird, as needed (Note: you can also find fat around the bird’s gizzard and neck base)
- Water, cold, as needed
- Cut the tail of the bird, discard the geese’s poop chute, and clean it well under running cold water.
- Cut them into 1 square-inch pieces.
- Once you have your fatty bits, wash them once more in cold water. Then, transfer them into a pot set over medium-high heat.
- Add cold water, just enough to cover all the fats. Let it boil.
- Once it boils, lower the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes. The fat will turn yellow and milky at first, but eventually, it will turn clear.
- Set up a strainer lined with a paper towel over a medium-sized bowl. Pour the goose fat in and wait for it to fully drip for about 15 minutes.
- Transfer the liquid fat into a mason jar or container, cover, and store for later use.
Goose fat is a stand-alone source of dietary fat. Thus, it contains neither protein nor carbohydrates. Goose fat is composed of 59.5% monounsaturated fat, 29% saturated fat, and 11.5% polyunsaturated fat. The monounsaturated fat is mainly oleic acid, which is linked to many heart-health, anti-inflammatory, and immune-enhancing benefits. Besides, it also provides a small amount of vitamin E, which is known to be beneficial to the skin and immune system.