Thursday, 18 July 2013

Making lard

I have seen lard referred to in many (often older) recipes over the years that I've always wanted to try it - the real stuff - not the hydrogenated rubbish you get at the supermarket. So, after breaking down our pigsters over the weekend we had a LOT of fat and I made sure that the leaf lard was put aside for some special treatment. Leaf lard renders down into a lovely white fat that does not have a strong pig smell and is meant to make the best ever pie crust (I'll be checking out this theory tonight!)

Here's the process I used:

Fat: this was given a bit of a trim up before cutting into cubes.

Cubed fat placed into pots over low heat, stirring every half hour or so in the initial stages. This was a slow process that took about 5 hours. I could've used a higher temperature but didn't want to risk burning the fat and discolouring the lard.

Almost done. The lard was progressively drained off throughout the rendering. I used a bowl covered with cheesecloth to strain. Once cooled I transferred to canning jars, most of which are now in the freezer.

Lovely white lard. I am trying it out in the crust of an apple cherry pie tonight!