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.
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.