1. Finally, lard is finally making a comeback as a healthy, nuritious fat. It has been used in generations past, and is finally being given the recognition it so rightfully deserves.

Lard from pastured pigs is a wonderful source of vitamin D and of monounsaturated fat – the same fatty acid found in olive oil and avocado that is renowned for its positive effects on cardiovascular health.

Lard has several advantages over other oils/fats, one of them being that it, along with beef tallow, has one of the highest smoke points. That means it doesn’t oxidize when you heat it (oxidization = very bad for you, and most likely cancer). This makes lard  ideal for safely cooking over high heat.

If you’ve put off making your own because you’re worried it would take too much time, I have good news. It’s actually very easy, and quite often can be made using a by-product of another meal like pork crackle or pork belly.

There are a few ways you can make it. For a lighter coloured and flavoured lard, cook slowly over low heat. For a more full-bodied flavour and a darker colour, higher heat is the way to go.

 

Ingredients:
  • Pork fat, preferably from pastured pigs, with all meat trimmed.
  • 1/4 cup water (for stove top and slow cooker method)

 

Slow Cooker Method: (good for white, almost odourless lard)
  1. Chop fat into small pieces, making sure there are no remaining pieces of meat or blood spots.
  2. Place into slow cooker with 1/4 cup of water (to prevent fat from burning).
  3. Cook on low with the lid off, allowing the water to evaporate.
  4. After about 45- 60 minutes, the water will evaporate, the fat will begin to melt and little bits of browned fat will begin to float to the surface.
  5. When the crackle sinks to the bottom, you can turn it off and allow to cool.
  6. Stir the pot every now and then and let cook on low until the fat is completely melted.
  7. Strain using a cheesecloth or other strainer with tiny ‘holes’. I use a tea strainer.
  8. Reserve the ‘crumbs’, fry in a pan to crisp them up and use instead of breadcrumbs – they are delicious sprinkled on a salad!

 

Stove Top Method: (good for white, almost odourless lard)
  1. Chop fat into small pieces, making sure there are no remaining pieces of meat or blood spots.
  2. Place into large, heavy based stock pot with 1/4 cup of water (to prevent fat from burning) and heat on a low-medium heat.
  3. Once fat starts to melt, reduce heat to low.
  4. After about 45- 60 minutes, the water will evaporate, the fat will begin to melt and little bits of browned fat will begin to float to the surface.
  5. When the crackle sinks to the bottom, remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.
  6. Stir the pot every now and let cook on low until the fat is completely melted.
  7. Strain using a cheesecloth or other strainer with tiny ‘holes’. I use a tea strainer.
  8. Reserve the ‘crumbs’, fry in the pan to crisp them up and use instead of breadcrumbs – they are delicious sprinkled on a salad!
Air Fryer Method: (good for darker, full flavoured lard, ideal for stir frying and adding an ‘oomph’ of flavour)

This really only works when cooking pork belly or making pork crackle, and is simply a matter of taking the fat that has accumulated in the basket, straining it and bottling it. Simples! 🙂

No more floaties!

Ready to pop into the fridge

 

Ready to use!

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