With regards to homesteading expertise, studying how you can render your individual lard is excessive on the checklist of issues that may have you ever feeling such as you’re channeling Ma Ingalls in your kitchen.
In fact, us trendy homesteaders know there’s completely no disgrace in utilizing trendy instruments to get the job carried out, like a sluggish cooker, an electrical range and even an Instantaneous Pot:)
Nonetheless you slice it, cube it, grind it or render it, studying how you can make your individual home made lard is one thing you must undoubtedly add to your repertoire. To not point out, the completed product is sure to come in useful whether or not you’re frying meals, making a melt-in-your-mouth flaky pie crust, seasoning your forged iron skillets and even making your individual soaps and candles at dwelling!
What’s lard anyway??
Merely put, lard is pig fats that has been processed by way of rendering (cooking) it down right into a liquid kind after which permitting it to chill and solidify right into a kind that’s comparable in texture to butter.
There are two forms of lard: The primary comes from across the kidneys and is often known as “leaf lard” or “leaf fats.” Leaf lard is prized for its purity and is taken into account one of the best kind of lard for baking.
The second kind of lard comes from the again of the pig and is appropriately known as “again fats” or “fatback.” This sort of fats is way tougher however will also be rendered into lard. In its stable state it’s usually diced up and added to sausages. As soon as rendered, the lard from again fats is best fitted to frying meals because it does are inclined to have extra of a definite porky flavour than pure leaf lard, which is odourless and flavourless.
The recipe under requires leaf fats as that is usually the kind that’s used for dwelling cooking and baking, however this recipe may also work for fatback if that’s what you’ve obtained.
Lard vs. Shortening
Lard is a pure supply of stable fats that has been utilized in cooking and baking for millennia. Up till the 1800s, lard was generally used very similar to butter is right now in most North American and European properties.
Technically lard is a kind of shortening because the definition of shortening is any kind of fats that’s stable at room temperature and is used for baking issues like pastries. Shortening obtained its identify from the truth that it shortens gluten fibres in baked items, which is what makes them extra crumbly and flaky and fewer doughy.
Then there’s “shortening” as most individuals comprehend it right now, which is vegetable shortening (aka. Crisco).
Crisco vegetable shortening is a extremely processed hydrogenated oil (initially constituted of cottonseed oil) that was invented by Procter & Gamble across the flip of the twentieth century. The corporate launched a really profitable –in addition to misleading– advertising marketing campaign that satisfied individuals to modify from conventional and pure sources of fats like butter and lard to the what they known as the “altogether new and higher fats,” aka. hydrogenated vegetable oil.
Principally vegetable shortening is to lard what margarine is to butter.
Lard started to fall out of style as Crisco rose to recognition, and that’s just about the way it stayed for the following 100 years. However as individuals are turning into extra aware about what they eat and extra conscious of the risks of extremely processed meals like hydrogenated vegetable oils, conventional meals like butter and lard are regaining recognition.
Associated: What I Look For When Shopping for Meals From the Grocery Retailer
The place to get pork fats for lard
As with most issues, you possibly can technically simply purchase lard from the grocery retailer reasonably than rendering your individual, however to start with, that’s not as enjoyable as making your individual. And second of all, a lot of the lard that you simply’ll discover on grocery retailer cabinets accommodates added preservatives together with BHA and BHT, both of which are on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list of food additives. Do-it-yourself lard, alternatively, is 100% pure pig fats, plain and easy.
In case you elevate your individual pigs, making your individual lard is a no brainer! Ensure that to ask for the leaf lard (and the fatback too if you would like it) when you’re hiring another person to do the butchering.
However when you’re not elevating your individual pigs, you’ll be able to nonetheless get your arms on some pork fats by asking for it at your native butcher or by making associates with a neighborhood pig farmer.
The primary time I made lard was from some leaf fats we had been gifted in alternate for serving to our neighbour butcher and wrap one in every of his pigs. That is an instance of how constructing group is definitely so helpful for anybody striving to be extra self-reliant, reasonably than making an attempt to go it fully alone.
The right way to render lard at dwelling
So that you’ve obtained your pork fats and also you’re able to render it down right into a pure white lard that you should use for cooking, baking, frying, greasing and all method of different homestead-y issues. Now what??
The method of rendering lard is definitely quite simple. In case you’ve obtained a sluggish cooker or an Instantaneous Pot, I’d recommend utilizing one or the opposite. But when all you might have is a stockpot and your stovetop, that may work simply positive too.
To make the method as simple as attainable, begin by freezing the pig fats. Freezing pig fats makes it simpler to trim and lower up earlier than you render it down.
As soon as it’s frozen (or very chilly), take away any pores and skin and trim any bits of meat off the fats.
Reduce the fats into small items. You should use a meals processor or perhaps a meat grinder to do that, however it may create a little bit of a large number to scrub up. Personally I simply use a pointy knife and lower the fats into small, roughly ½-inch cubes.
The smaller you cube or grind up the fats, the faster it would cook dinner down. However don’t fear when you cube the cubes a bit bigger. They’ll nonetheless cook dinner down and render simply positive, it simply would possibly take a bit bit longer.
Subsequent, add ¼ cup of water to your sluggish cooker, Instantaneous Pot or to your stockpot if that’s what you’re utilizing. Then add the pig fats.
If utilizing a sluggish cooker or stockpot, go away the lid off and cook dinner on low for a number of hours, permitting the fats to soften and render. (Leaving the lid off will permit the water to evaporate. The water is important to forestall the fats from burning).
* Whereas I’ve by no means rendered lard in my Instantaneous Pot on the stress cook dinner setting, I did discover this article that tells you how to do it in just a couple hours.
Control your lard, checking it each hour or so. As soon as the leftover bits of meat and fatty bits rise to the highest, pressure the lard by way of a positive mesh sieve, reserving the liquid fats.
Retailer the liquid fats in a glass jar (or a number of glass jars, relying on how a lot liquid you’ve obtained). The liquid lard shall be yellow in color at first, however because it cools it would flip stable white.
If utilizing leaf fats, your lard must be odourless and impartial in flavour by the point it cools.
In case you’ve obtained a whole lot of little fatty bits, you’ll be able to return them to the sluggish cooker and proceed to render them down. Any liquid fats that accumulates shall be barely “porkier” in flavour than the primary rendering, so it’s higher for frying savoury meals reasonably than for, say, pie-baking.
Any leftover fatty bits could be fried in a frying pan till crispy after which loved (pork cracklings). Strive sprinkling with a bit salt and topping your soups and salads with them!
Retailer your lard within the fridge or freezer. Lard retains very effectively, and may final within the fridge for a number of months and even longer within the freezer.
Nonetheless if it ever smells off-putting it could be previous its prime. On this case toss it and begin a contemporary batch.
The right way to use your lard
When you’ve rendered your lard, it’s time to place it to make use of! Use your lard in any recipe that requires shortening. It’s particularly good in home made biscuits and pie crust!
Use your lard to fry meals, to grease or season your forged iron cookware, to make your individual home made candles… You may even use it as a moisturizer to your pores and skin, lips, hair and nails!
What’s your favorite approach to make use of lard? Let me know within the feedback under!
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- Chilly leaf fats (kidney fats from pigs)
- ¼ cup water
- Take away any pores and skin and trim any meat from the fats. Reduce the fats into small items. (You should use a meals processor if in case you have one. In any other case simply use a knife to chop into small cubes). *Pig fats is less complicated to chop when frozen or very chilly. Take into account freezing it first.
- Place ¼ cup of water right into a sluggish cooker (or use a stockpot over low warmth in your range). Add the pig fats. Go away the lid off and cook dinner on low for a number of hours, permitting the fats to soften and render. (Leaving the lid off will permit the water to evaporate. The water is important to forestall the fats from burning).
- Control your lard, checking it each hour or so. As soon as the leftover bits of meat and fatty bits rise to the highest, pressure the lard by way of a positive mesh sieve, reserving the liquid fats. Retailer the liquid fats in a glass jar (or a number of glass jars, relying on how a lot liquid you’ve obtained). The liquid lard shall be yellow in color at first, however because it cools it would flip stable white.
- In case you’ve obtained a whole lot of little fatty bits, you’ll be able to return them to the sluggish cooker and proceed to render them down. Any liquid fats that accumulates shall be “porkier” in flavour than the primary rendering, so it’s higher for frying savoury meals reasonably than for pie-baking. Any leftover fatty bits could be fried in a frying pan till crispy after which loved.
- Retailer lard within the fridge or freezer. Lard retains effectively and may final within the fridge for a number of months and even longer within the freezer.