Making Ghee

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by koukouvagia, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Ok so I've never made ghee. Do you make your own? What do you use it or not use it for? What's your method for making it? Is this a good method?

    How do you store it and does it keep as long as butter?
     
  2. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Whatever method you use the main thing is to get the water out of it. The water sits under the fat after you've melted the butter and when it boils it splatters the fat all over. So use a large melting pot.

    The solids will brown, but you might not want them to brown. I like to skim and get most of the solids out before it really turns nutty aroma.

    I don't really strain it with a cheesecloth either, just fine mesh.

    The important part is removing the water though. The rest is just a matter of degree or how industrious you are feeling that day.
     
  3. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    When properly made - all the water snd solids removed - it lasts almost an eternity. My Indian/Nepalese neighbors don't refrigerate but the also use it a lot faster than me. I refrigerate.
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Besides the Indian applications, it's also useful for some classic Continental spreads and preserves. Preserves not in the jam sense, but in the manner of confit.

    I'm speaking of potted ham, shrimp, mushrooms and even various cheese spreads. And no not the terrible things commercialized by Underwood. When made at home they're redolent of mace and nutmeg and other delicious things.

    They freeze well, make excellent appetizers and breakfast noshes. And make you a gracious excellent host in front of people who don't expect such treats. You're always prepared for the drop in guest.
     
  5. butzy

    butzy

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    I buy, as it lasts longer and is cheaper than butter.
    I keep it in the fridge as well (I just don't use a lot of it)
     
  6. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    This kind of goes back to the thread about unwrapping butter before melting it. Ultimately, ghee is just clarified butter (some recipes call for slightly browning the solids and some don't). One of the easiest, although not the quickest, ways to clarify butter, is what we used to do at the hotel. We would just throw 1 pound blocks of butter in a large pan, place that pan in the steam table, remove the wrappers when the butter is melted, and allow the butter to continue to warm until all the water and solids eventually fall to the bottom. Then carefully pour off the clarified butter, on top, leaving all the other "stuff" behind. You can do this more quickly over higher heat, but you have to be careful not to burn the solids and it then usually requires either careful skimming of the butter or straining, or both. Doing it more slowly takes more time, but ultimately requires less watching and work.
     
    drirene and fatcook like this.
  7. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I finally made my ghee, am now straining it through a coffee filter. It took about 20 minutes, I removed it when the butter stopped bubbling and the milk solids on the bottom began to slightly take on a brown hue. Did I do it right? How can I be sure I removed all the liquid?

    Now, I know I can use it like I do any fat. But can it be used to substitute butter for baking? Like making a pie crust for example.
     
  8. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    That’s exactly how I’ve made it.
     
  9. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    I don't think that I would use it for pie crust. I'm not sure what the point would be. Getting the solids out makes butter keep longer and gives it a higher smoke point, so it can be used in Indian (and Ethiopian) recipes to bloom spices and fry things at a higher temperature than you would normally be able to with plain butter, while giving you the the rich, round butter flavor that you find in dal and many vegetable curries. In Indian recipes, it's often ghee that is used for the tadka--the spice-infused, hot ghee or oil you add at the last minute to many dal recipes. I usually buy ghee, rather than make it but I have an entire neighborhood of Indo-Pak grocers at my disposal, so it's good, easy to find, and relatively inexpensive.

    Niter Kibbeh-- Ethiopian clarified butter--is essentially ghee infused with spices. It's used in sauces, as a condiment, and spooned into pots and over food. I do make that.

    I make brown butter, rather than ghee, and keep it in the refrigerator for use in sauces and baking. My favorite pumpkin and banana breads call for brown butter and booze--bourbon, rye, or dark rum.
     
  10. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    You don't want to use ghee for pie dough making or really any pastry that relies on butter for flakiness. The reason is that it is the liquid, in the butter, that really helps to create that flakiness. As the dough cooks the water in the butter turns to steam lifting and raising the layers of dough. You won't get the same "lift" with clarified butter (aka ghee).
     
  11. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    That makes sense thanks!
     
  12. smyrf

    smyrf

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    I've been buying ghee for several years now and I've always kept it in the pantry; granted, we don't have much of a summer here, and my place never really gets that hot! But even so it should keep "indefinitely". I guess a good way to guage how hot your kitchen is by whether your ghee, coconut oil, etc. are solid or liquid :)

    Only recently though, not sure what happened but my current batch turned all white and sort of "fluffy". I thought it was just a texture thing due to it melting and resolidifying, and ended up using it, but there was a very clear difference in taste; it wasn't particularly bad but I didn't really like it either.

    I did some research and apparently in Tibet they prefer their (yak) ghee rancid! (which it seems it what happened to mine after all.)