Ghee is my favorite fat. I use it for sauteing, searing, soups, cooking eggs, and baking, plus I use it instead of butter on pancakes, etc. Since I no longer heat olive oil –I only use it raw on salads, in salad dressings, in pesto, and in homemade mayo–ghee has become much more prominent in our diet. Also, we use some coconut oil but I find no need for using any other oil.
Organic ghee is expensive but you can make your own and save money. Use organic butter–preferably from grass-fed animals. The traditional method is on the stovetop but I have found that the oven method is much easier. Just be sure to bake it long enough to denature all the milk in the melted butter; the pools of milk will transform into light brown sediments which are easily strained out giving you pure ghee or clarified butter. Be sure to use a baking dish that is deep enough to prevent spills–the melted butter should not fill your baking dish by more than half. And store the ghee in glass mason jars–pint or quart size is best for ease of handling.
The best news is that ghee is very stable. I keep it in the refrigerator where it can last up to a year. Write the date on the top of the jar in order to rotate your stock. When you hear people talk about the wisdom of having some food stored for emergencies, think of staples such as ghee that you use regularly. It’s very practical to keep a couple quarts on hand.
Makes 3-4 cups of ghee:
2 pounds organic butter, salted or unsalted–your choice
pyrex baking dish
fine strainer (use a large one about 4″ in diameter) lined with a double layer of fine cheese cloth or clean fine, plain-white dish towel
quart-sized pyrex measuring cup
Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Remove the wrapper(s) and place the butter in the baking dish. Place dish in the lower rack of the oven. Every 15 minutes give the melted butter a gentle stir with a fork to assist with the coagulating and browning of the pools of milk. Do not overbake and let the sediment burn–it should just brown, not blacken–or the ghee will have a burnt taste. Once all the milk is gone (it may take up to 2 hours), remove the dish from the oven very carefully and pour the mixture through the cheese-cloth lined strainer into a quart-sized pyrex measuring cup (this makes it easy to pour the ghee into the mason jar after it is strained). If any trace of milk settles out in the bottom of the baking dish as you strain, don’t pour it into the strainer as it will go right through and your ghee will have some milk in the bottom of the jar and will not keep as long. To remedy this problem, either discard that last bit of ghee that has the milk in it or place the dish back in the oven and continue heating until all the milk has browned and complete the process of straining. The ghee will be very hot so always place a spoon in containers that you transfer the melted ghee into. After 15 minutes, remove the spoon, cap the jar and place in the refrigerator. It will solidify once cooled.