Ghee – that clarified butter making the health rounds these days – can be a pricey proposition if you use it as much as I do. I’ve seen it range from $19.99 for 13 ounces on Amazon to $9.99 for 10 ounce at Trader Joe’s. For the price of a pound of your favorite butter and about 5 minutes worth of active work, you can have ghee made to the shade you prefer. Mine is slightly brown in color before it sets up and very nutty in flavor.
Pick a vessel to hold the butter. I use a Le Cruset Dutch oven (no lid) in order to give the butter a larger surface area upon which to brown. You can use a loaf pan, a deep skillet, a deep casserole dish...you get the idea.
Unwrap and place your butter in the vessel. Pop said vessel into the 250-degree oven. Set a timer for 90 minutes and then go do something else. Seriously, no watching necessary.
At about the 80 minute mark, set up the container you plan to use to store the ghee. Don’t use plastic as it will melt when you pour in the hot ghee. I prefer a hinged glass container (with a gasket) which holds about 14 ounces. I bought mine at IKEA but you can find just about anywhere.
Use a strainer that rests comfortably atop the container and line it with at least four layers of cheesecloth.
Place the container in a clean sink (better leverage when pouring the hot liquid) and then slowly pour the ghee through the strainer into the container. You will pour and stop and wait for it to seep through the cheesecloth and strainer. Repeat. Wait. Repeat.
Leave the container open until thoroughly cooled and set. Storing on the counter is fine as all the milk solids which can become rancid are now gone.
Some of the benefits of ghee:
High smoke point (you can heat it at a high temperature without burning it)
By removing the milk solids, ghee is OK for lactose- and/or casein-sensitive individuals
Ghee is rich in oil-soluble vitamins A & E
Ghee is reported to support the digestive tract as well as the immune system and is anti-inflammatory