Making ghee is a process I enjoy, and it yields a wonderful cooking medium. For those of you who might be unfamiliar, ghee is an unsalted butter that has had the milk solids removed after separating from the butterfat, resulting in beautiful, golden, pure fat with an unusually high smoking point. This means ghee (and its cousin, clarified butter) is remarkably stable, even at higher temperatures. The process for making clarified butter is similar to that of making ghee, ghee is simply cooked longer and has more contact with the browning milk solids, in turn lending a different flavor profile.
Tips for Cooking with Ghee 1. Use less. If you’ve never cooked with ghee before, just go easy to start. I’ve found that I typically need less throughout the process compared with, say, olive oil. 2. Wok cooking or stir-fry is an exercise in high-temperature intensity. Which can be hard on oils, and you end up having the oils break down, and not in a good way. So, ghee is a good option, as long as it works for the flavors you are cooking. I don’t think it works alongside soy sauce, for example, but a quick vegetable stir-fry is a winner 3. In my opinion, the best ghee comes from homemade butter. Meaning, you first make butter from fresh cream you got from your herd share. Then you turn that butter into ghee. You might try making cultured butter and turning that into ghee. 4. Ghee can be stored, unopened, in a cool, dark, place for 9 months. Once opened, a jar can be kept on your counter top for 3 months. Beyond that, the open jar can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 year. How’s that for shelf life.
- 2 pounds unsalted butter I’ve used salted as well
- Pinch of salt optional
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low. It will start to bubble and separate. The whey will float to the surface creating foam. Skim the whey foam as it arises. Continue to cook the butter until it turns clear and the milk solids sink to the bottom. This is clarified butter. (You could actually stop here.)
- Continue to cook your butter until the milk solids brown (lightly) on the bottom of the pan. It will smell like popcorn butter.
- Remove skillet from heat, add salt (optional); cool for about 2 minutes.
- Pour ghee through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Store in tightly sealed mason jars or refrigerator.
- Use it in place of almost any cooking oil. It will add butter flavor without burning.
• If butter turns dark brown or black, you’ve burned it and you will need to start over.