Rendering Lard

12
Lee Thayer

By
@LeeNST

Rendering pig fat produces lard, which a natural fat and is actually healthier than many vegetable oils. It has a high smoke point which makes it ideal for deep frying and is ideal for pastry making. I used to render bear fat when I was growing up and that, makes the best pastry, hands down. This process uses a slow cooker, perfect for the low heat and minimal chance of burning the lard. If you have ever made lard in a pot on the stove top, and burned it, you will understand why the slow cooker is the best option. The rule of thumb is 1 quart of lard is rendered from 2 lbs of pig fat.

Rating:

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Comments:
Serves:
1 quart of lard
Prep:
20 Min
Cook:
9 Hr
Method:
Slow Cooker Crock Pot

Ingredients

How to Make Rendering Lard

Step-by-Step

  1. FOR CUBED FAT: Trim any large pieces of meat from the fat, does not have to be perfect, just remove the large bits. If you buy the fat at Tesco, it will be back fat and all be trimmed and in large pieces. In the US try and get leaf fat from a reputable farmer that is from pasture raised pigs. I bought 5 slabs at Tesco, about 3/4 inch thick that came out to 1 kilo in weight. Slabs are skin and fat.
  2. Dice the fat into 1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces.
  3. Add the fat to your slow cooker and add a 1/4 cup of water (the water evaporates off). Place the lid on the cooker and set the cooker to Low setting.
  4. After 1 hour, give the pot a stir and you will see some liquid in the pot, that is the fat being rendered.
  5. Continue to stir every hour until the fat is fully melted or is brown bits on the bottom of the pot that start to float again. At this point, the lard is ready. Mine was ready in 15 hours.
  6. Pour the lard through cheese cloth placed in a strainer, over a pot, Let the brown bits (crackling) drain for about 20 minutes or so. Remove the strainer and set aside with the cracklings.
  7. Pour the lard into a quart jar and allow to cool on the counter uncovered. Once cooled, cover and store in the fridge until use.
  8. Cooled and solidified, perfect!
  9. Bonus item! Heat a non stick pan and when hot, dump the cracklings, the left over bits in the cheese cloth, into the pan, season with salt and herbs of your choice, fry until crispy, enjoy!
  10. FOR COARSE GROUND FAT: If you have an electric meat grinder, and a coarse plate, the coarse plate I have is called the wagon wheel. Assemble your grinder with clean sterile parts. Do not add the hopper tray, the try that fits on top of the feed tube, first, it is not needed, two, less to wash later.
  11. To prepare the fat, you want is very cold, not frozen. Place the fat skin side up on a cutting board, cut into strips that are about 3/8 inch wide, once all the strips are cut, check each one for any meat tissue and trim that off. Be careful doing this as pieces will be very slippery. Here you can see the strips and the meat tissue I removed on the right.
  12. Place a bowl to catch the fat. For this method, you are not going to load up the hopper with a bunch fat, you are going to do this one strip at a strip at a time, as the grinder is grinding the skin as well, so we do not want to overwhelm the grinder or slow the motor. Turn the grinder on and drop in a fat strip, when that is coming out, drop in another. This actually goes quite fast.
  13. Place the fat in your slow cooker. And proceed with adding the 1/4 cup of water and setting the cooker to Low.
  14. Stir every hour, the fat and skin will turn golden brown and the bits will sink to the bottom, when they start to float, the lard is ready. Mine was ready after 9 hours.
  15. Pour the lard through cheese cloth placed in a strainer, over a pot, Let the brown bits drain for about 20 minutes or so. Remove the strainer and discard the bits, they are so small, don't worry about using them cracklings.
  16. Pour the lard into a quart jar and allow to cool on the counter uncovered. Once cooled, cover and store in the fridge until use.

Printable Recipe Card

About Rendering Lard

Course/Dish: Other Sauces
Main Ingredient: Pork
Regional Style: American
Other Tag: Healthy




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