I was introduced to ghee by my obsession with Indian food. Since it doesn’t include dairy products, butter cannot be used. Bummer, because the luxurious flavor of butter is irreplaceable. BUT. If you heat the butter and simmer it, all of the milk fat floats to the top and can be skimmed off or strained away. What’s left in its wake is the liquid gold of pure butter fat.
I use ghee because it’s extraordinary; it tastes and smells like unsweetened caramel toffee. It imparts this flavor to anything you cook it in. It’s my favorite fat by a landslide. Since the milk fat has been removed, you’re left with pure fat that can withstand high heats with no detriment. Butter can be used for sauteing lightly, but the milkfats end up burning and turning rancid when the heat gets too high. Use ghee for searing anything, roasting stuff in the oven, in your coffee, or in baking. Pretty much anything that you would use butter for.
Ghee can be pricey, especially one of high-quality, which I suggest you invest in. Organic, lactose & dairy-free is preferable. Especially if dairy is a no-go for you (like it is for me). Trader joe’s sells one that is inexpensive, but it isn’t organic or certified dairy free. I use it sometimes with no ill-effects but again, it depends on your sensitivity.
The best part of this story is that you can easily make it at home. It takes about 20 minutes from start to finish and produces the most tantalizing aroma of butter. You can mark my words that this is replacing my air freshener. I may or may have not stuck my head inside of the pot for several minutes. I just wanted to get the full experience, people. Below I’ll outline the steps I used to make it.
Makes about 4 cups
Start with 2 pounds of butter (4 cups or 8 sticks). I use Kerrygold because it’s high quality and comes from grass-fed cows which means nice milk. You could use a smaller quantity if you wish, the method will be exactly the same.
In a large saucepan, place the butter and turn the heat to medium. (I cut mine into cubes but later realized it was unnecessary. I will leave them whole next time and suggest you do the same unless you like extra work.)
Heat the butter until completely melted, then let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring a couple times in between. You’ll notice the milk solids rise to the top. As they rise, skim some of them away with a slotted spoon and discard.
Once the butter has been heated well, you’ll notice that there will be harder milk solid clumps on the bottom of them pan, the frothy milk solids on top, and a beautiful, golden, clear layer in between. We want that gold. Treasure it.
(milk solids on bottom)
Line a strainer with two layers of cheesecloth and set it over a bowl or large measuring cup. Carefully pour the butter through the strainer and into the bowl or cup.
(milk solids left in the cheesecloth)
Discard the milk solids. Pour the ghee into jars of your choosing and enjoy as you please. Be sure to lick the spoon.
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