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How to Make Beef or Pork Dripping From Fat

What Is Dripping?

Have you ever tried bread and dripping? My husband loves it! If you're a health-conscious person, look away now. Dripping is made from pork or beef fat and is a traditional favorite in some UK households. It became popular during the war but has now fallen out of favor due to health concerns. That may stop a few people, but those that grew up with it still love it and continue to eat it.

Below I will show you how I make it and how my husband eats it. The traditional way is to use the fat dripping from the roasted meat. However, if you don't roast meat, you can use the method I discuss here.

You can still buy dripping in some supermarkets and traditional butcher shops in the UK, but if you can't find it, don't worry, it's easy to prepare and may become one of your favorite toppings for bread or toast.


  • Pork or beef fat

Where to Get Beef or Pork Fat

You will need to source fat from beef or pork. If you can't find these for sale, ask at your butcher's shop. Traditional butchers who cut up animal carcasses will have it.

Ask at your local grocery store if their meat arrives pre-cut. If not, they may keep some of the fat for you.

Nowadays, pork chops and steaks are trimmed of fat, as many feel it's healthier. If you have a surplus fat around a pork chop or beef roast, cut it away and save it for this recipe. Keep the cut-offs in the freezer until you have accumulated enough to make it worthwhile cooking.

If you know a farmer, ask them where to get fat!

Pork fat

Pork fat

Instructions for Making Beef or Pork Drippings

  1. Remove any gristle or sinew from the fat.
  2. Place the pieces of fat in a frying pan and begin frying slowly. The fat will begin to melt away into the pan. This process is called rendering. Don't forget to use a splatter guard when frying to avoid the fat being spat over you and your stovetop.
  3. Pour this hot fat into the container you will be using to store it in. This can be a bowl or a jar but not a plastic container or it will melt as you pour the hot fat into it. A glass jar such as Pyrex is best. Continue slowly frying and pouring off the fat. If you have a gas stove, don't let the fat drip onto the flame, you'll get a flare-up!
  4. When the fat has cooked out as much as possible you will be left with some pieces of crisp fat. Chop these into small pieces and also put them into the mixture. This will be adding flavor and crunchiness to your dripping. This is optional, you can leave it out if you prefer a smooth mixture.
  5. Leave your dripping to cool and then cover it with plastic wrap. Once cooled, this can go in the refrigerator.
Cooked pork fat

Cooked pork fat

How to Eat Beef or Pork Dripping

After cooling, you will notice that the mixture has separated into a top fat layer and a jelly-like layer at the bottom. The flavorful jelly layer is the residue of the beef/pork juices.
My husband prefers to eat it on toast; both whole wheat and white bread will work well with this. Cut down through the mixture to combine the two layers, the fat and the jelly. Spread thinly on toast and add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy.

Bread and Dripping as a Gift

It would make a thoughtful gift for someone who loves bread and dripping since it isn't readily available to buy. Place it in a decorative jar and put a gift tag on it.
During the war in England, this became a staple in many households and still has a loyal following of fans.

Questions & Answers

Question: How long would this pork dripping keep?

Answer: I never make more than can be consumed in a few servings. However, according to it will keep for 9 months in the refrigerator.

Question: Is the fat around kidneys suitable for beef or pork dripping?

Answer: It's a great question and one I can't answer as I have never tried it. When I have purchased kidneys, there wasn't a lot of fat in them. Whether this had been removed at the butchers, I don't know.

There is nothing stopping you from trying. Kidneys have such a strong flavor that the surrounding fat may also taste stronger. That is great if you enjoy kidneys, but if you don't, it may be off-putting. If you do use it, come back and let us know how it turned out.

Question: I read that what this recipe produces is not dripping, but lard. Is this true?

Answer: Yes and no. Dripping can be from beef or pig fat, whereas lard is pig fat.

In my article, I am using the pig fat but I could just have easily used beef fat. Ideally, for dripping, you want it from a roast or a joint of meat which has been in the oven. (not a pot roast).

The way I have highlighted in this article is quicker but less tasty.

Question: Can I make crispy roast potatoes from using pork dripping?

Answer: I can't see why you couldn't. Remember it would have initially been lard, then it went on to a solid oils. Now most people use a liquid oil such as vegetable oil. However, for the best roast potatoes, goose fat is preferred.

© 2012 Mary Wickison