Anyone who talks to me will know immediately that I am not a country girl. No matter how much romanticizing country songs do about hardworking people in the rural South, I my suburban roots will probably always be showing a little.
That being said, I would like to say that I no longer think I can be considered a city girl. I mean, I rendered my own lard, how city-girl can I be? Right? Oh fine… I will just pretend that I am little more country than I was before. Besides, there will always be a soft spot in my heart for that She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy song.
Anyway, I got the idea to make lard in my head from an interview the Good Food did a while back. And if you like irony, hold on to your hat, because I was hit with this inspiration while running on a treadmill. Yup. That’s what working out does to me, makes me want to make and consume lard…
And, because my instructions might not be enough to convince you that you should try this for the sake of AWESOME pie crusts and biscuits, here’s another site with instructions.
And for those of you freaking out that I said the word “lard,” just know that lard is just a fat, like any other fat that we use. Except that it’s natural and was not originally designed as an industrial lubricant ::cough:: crisco. Also, here’s pretty balanced view of it from NPR. In the end, my opinion is that lard is simply another choice when deciding what fat to use in a recipe. Different fats (olive oil, butter, coconut oil, lard, etc) have different properties and reactions and flavors. Choose accordingly.
Super easy. No chemicals, perfumes, bleaches, dyes, etc. Yay.
Step 1. Go to your local pig farmer and ask for the leaf fat from around the kidneys. If possible, get them to grind it for you.
Step 2. Chop lard into small-ish chunks (I cut mine into pieces as big as a cherry tomato).
Step 3. Place lard into a crock pot on high with 1/4 cup of water (to evaporate and help prevent burning while lard heats up).
Step 4. As lard heats up, clear liquid will appear. Using a ladle, skim the liquid (the lard) off the top and pour through cheesecloth to strain into a bowl or jar for storage. It will turn white as it cools.
The leftover fat can be reserved and cooked into cracklings, but I have not tried this.
Checkout the links I provided in the body of my post for more information.