Makes 4 to 6 servings
4 russet potatoes, scrubbed
8 cups tallow (recipe below), canola oil, or peanut oil
1. Cut potatoes lengthwise into Á³-inch-thick batons. Transfer to a bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight in refrigerator.
2. Preheat oven to 300°F. In a heavy, high-sided pot fitted with a deep-frying thermometer, melt tallow over medium-high heat.
3. Meanwhile, remove potatoes from water and dry thoroughly with paper towels; set aside. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set nearby.
4. When tallow reaches 370°F, fry potatoes, in batches, for 3 minutes, then transfer to prepared baking sheet with tongs or a slotted spoon. Be careful not to overcrowd pot and to allow tallow to return to 370°F between batches.
5. When all potatoes have been fried, increase heat of tallow to 380°F. Again, working in batches, fry potatoes a second time, until golden brown and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Return to paper towel”“lined baking sheet and keep warm in oven until all potatoes have been cooked. Just before serving, season with salt. Serve hot, with ketchup, if you like.
Tallow (Rendered Beef Fat)
Makes 9 cups
Preheat oven to 300°F. Cut 6 pounds beef fat (from a reputable butcher) into ¼-inch cubes, trimming and discarding any blood, gristle, or meat. In a large Dutch oven, combine fat cubes and 2 cups water, and cook, uncovered, stirring every 30 to 40 minutes. As fat melts, impurities will rise to surface. Tallow is ready when liquid at the bottom of pan is clear, and solids on top begin to brown, 3 to 4 hours. Carefully strain rendered fat through a fine-mesh sieve into clean mason jars. Let cool completely, then cover jars with lids and refrigerate. Refrigerated tallow will keep for several months.
Photographs reprinted from Home Cooked by Anya Fernald with Jessica Battilana. Copyright © 2016 by Anya Fernald. Photography copyright © 2016 by Brown W. Cannon III. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.