One advantage of buying a whole or half calf is that you can tell the butcher exactly how you want the animal processed. You can get the bones for your pets. You can also have the butcher save the extra beef fat from which you can render tallow. The extra fat comes bagged and frozen like the other beef so will keep for a while until you’re ready.
Last month we successfully rendered tallow from the fat of our most recently butchered grass fed beef cattle. We made candles and saved conveniently sized portions for cooking. Tallow is a great cooking oil to use in place of shortening or vegetable oils. It’s stable at high temperatures. Grass fed beef tallow is particularly loaded with vitamins and beneficial fatty acids.
The rendering process is straightforward. Several online articles were helpful, particularly this one. Technically, beef tallow is made from fat surrounding the kidney area. We requested the butcher save some “fat for tallow”. The butcher did not seem to distinguish types of fat and simply saved us some extra fat. The quality was excellent in our case, regardless of where the fat came from.