Lard is the new/old health food! Unfortunately, it has been given a bad name. It’s been associated with being unhealthy or overweight, but that’s not true.
I would like to attempt to reclaim the name of lard.
Did you know that lard is an excellent source of vitamin D?
Lard is also very cheap and can be used in place of butter if you’re wanting to save money. Lard is cheaper than margarine.
Any butcher should be able to offer you fat to render for free or very cheap.
It’s important to use home rendered lard as the grocery store stuff will have added preservatives, colour and maybe even trans-fats.
HOW TO RENDER LARD:
For crock pot method click here.
To make lard in a pot, read on…
You will need:
Pig fat (preferably the leaf lard)
1/4 cup or so of water
Something to strain into(another pot or glass measuring cup)
Ask the butcher if they have the leaf lard which is the stuff from around the organs. It’s the cleanest and makes the best lard.
Have the lard ground up if possible, if it’s not you will have to cut it up into small pieces.
Add water as fat to the pot.
Bring up to temp over low-med heat around 220-240 F. It seems that anything higher produces a bacon taste in lard.
Continue rendering until the cracklings are brown but still soft. They will also sink once the fat is rendered out of them.
Could take 2-4 hours.
Strain through a cheesecloth. Careful, it’s deadly hot! I am doing it in the sink and it’s a good thing because I spilled everywhere. Will clean it up with paper towels.
Now, pour into jars and seal! Yummy, it smells of shortbread.
Emmett has just run into the kitchen saying “Cookie Cookie!” from the smell! Here he is eating cracklings:
The cracklings are delicious. Use as you would bacon bits. Try them in salads or on eggs!