Thanks Carolyn, for keeping me company while we rendered lard! Us ladies got to ‘chew the fat’ while the crock pot, Nesco and stovetop did all the work melting the fat. This was my first experience rendering lard and I thought it would be more difficult than it actually was. I guess that is true of most new things! We started with approx 2.5 lbs of frozen ground leaf lard from the pigs which were butchered this fall. I allowed them overnight in the fridge to soften up a bit and then put one in the crock pot on high, the other in the Nesco at 250, and the third into a heavy bottomed kettle and the lowest possible flame and the smallest burner of the stove. Each method also received a small amount of water to prevent scorching before the first bit of fat melts. All three methods worked very well. The stove had to be watched and stirred the most, but it was also the quickest! The goal is to melt the fat, evaporate any water and allow any non-fat bits to settle out onto the bottom. The key is to NOT allow those bits to scorch on the bottom of the pan. Once they settle out the moisture is gone and the cooking/melting is over. The resulting liquid is poured through a cheese cloth lined collander and then into a glass jar. Keep one jar in your fridge and store the rest in the freezer!
Lard made from leaf fat should be snow white and have NO piggy flavor or smell. Leaf fat comes from inside the abdomen of the pig, while back fat is the stuff -well from the back. Back fat will have more pig flavor.
The leaf lard can be used in place of Crisco (icky nasty stuff!) for baking or used to saute. We will be making an apple pie this weekend from our new stash! Pastured lard is a nice source of Vitamin D.
From Rodale News: ” The main fat in lard—oleic acid—is a monounsaturated fat linked to decreased risk of depression, says Drew Ramsey, MD, coauthor of The Happiness Diet (Rodale, 2010). Those same monounsaturated fats, which make up 45 percent of the fat in lard, are responsible for lowering LDL levels while leaving HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels alone.”
Its Real Food people!!