Ghee Glorious Ghee
Ghee is one of those golden elixirs of life that just makes the universe spin a little more smoothly on its axis. Considered a sacred food in Ayurvedic and Yogic cultures, ghee is believed to contain healing properties and is regarded as the distillation of the purest essence of India’s most Sacred Cow. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) as well as lauric acid and butyric acid are but a few of the MANY nutritional components which offer health benefits in ghee.
Also known as clarified butter in the western world, ghee is a very versatile fat which can be used for cooking at substantially higher temperatures than regular butter because all of the easy to burn milk solids have been evaporated and strained out. In the process of clarification, any lactose or casein are removed so ghee is often tolerated by people with dairy allergies or sensitivities and can usually be safely included in a leaky gut healing protocol like the GAPS Diet or the Autoimmune Paleo Diet.
I substitute ghee for all my butter uses including sautéing, baking and in my morning cup of blessed bulletproof coffee.
It is especially important to note that butter derived from pastured cows who graze on grass is considered far superior to the more common butter coming from grain fed cattle. Fortunately Irish Kerrygold pastured butter is readily available in many conventional grocery stores and is available for $2.99 for 8 oz at the Trader Joes here in Portland ME. If you’ve ever purchased commercial ghee you’ll know that it generally run between $.60 & 1.80 an ounce depending on brand, quantity and shipping costs, so at 37¢ homemade ghee is quite a deal.
Now perhaps like me you have attempted to make a batch of ghee on your stovetop only to have it go from almost perfect to suddenly burned to a bitter unusable waste of a pound or more of butter, maybe you’ve also tried baking it in the oven and yielded only slightly better results. WELL if you too have suffered the heartache of ruined ghee, grieve no more! I offer you foolproof and crazy easy to make slowcooker ghee!
The best time to do this is right before bed so you can awaken to perfect ghee and you won’t hover over your ghee pot impatiently waiting.
- get 2-4 lbs of the best pasture fed dairy butter you can get your hands on. Note since you are going to slow cook it, raw unpasteurized is not really crucial.
Unwrap & place butter in a 4-6 quart sized slow cooker and LEAVE the cover OFF.
Set your cooker on the low setting and walk away.
In a few hours your butter will be melted and the milk solids will have separated from the fat, and it will look like white curdled milk floating through the whole crock. The butter will still smell like ordinary melted butter. It still has a way to go.
Depending on your slow cooker it may take 8-12 hours to reach perfection.
When your ghee is ready the browned milk solids will have sunk to the bottom and floated up to the top into gorgeous toasted “curds” which can be enjoyed if casein is not a problem for you. The ghee will have a distinctive sweet & nutty caramel scent which imparts a deliciousness to any dish you add it to.
Pour the ghee into a bowl through a sieve to remove most of the solids and then decant into clean ceramic canisters or glass jars using either a tighter mesh strainer or a funnel with cheesecloth or paper towel to get the minute particles out. Stored in a dark cabinet or refrigerated homemade ghee is stable at room temperature for up to three months as long as you keep it out of prolonged light.