I blogged a week or so ago about rendering pork fat and how it was going. So for a little background; We rendered 15 lbs of free range, antibiotic/hormone free pork fat into lard. The first batch we tried in the crock pot which worked very well but didn't turn the crackling...crackly. So for the second batch we decided to try using a big pot on the barbeque (I was once again so thankful for my massive Paderno stockpot that Dan bought me for Christmas a couple of years ago). This method requires keeping a closer eye on it and stirring it consistently. But, unless you have a large crock pot which I don't, you can fit alot more into a big pot. It also turned out very well. Although, I must admit, we forgot it after we had drained the lard and were just cooking the cracklings a little longer so they burnt. That was disappointing. Anyways, I finally made a gluten free Carmelized Pear and Onion quiche with a lard pastry. Dan gave a very hearty vote of approval. I won't share the recipe for the pastry just yet because I had to piece it together due to its crumbly nature leaving me to conclude that it needs some tweaking yet.It did look good though and the end result was quite tasty. I am excited to keep experimenting and trying lard in other things.
Now I know that many would think that I am crazy to use lard in my cooking. After all, isn't fat something we should avoid? Not good fats and lard really is one of those fats! I have never been into low fat anything, mostly because I didn't like the taste but I have read and learned more, I have come to really believe that our bodies NEED these fats in order to be healthy. The less processed and chemicalized our food is, always the better. Contrary to what the cheap, big tubs of margarine and vegetable oil would have us believe, unsaturated fats don't win. AND lard is an inexpensive option although maybe not quite so if you choose not to do the rendering for which I wouldn't blame you;). North America especially thinks that low fat is what equals healthy but there is a lot of research and practical example showing contrary evidence. Not to mention that once you start to look at what those low fat options contain, that theory can't help but be questioned. This was even further solidified in my mind once we started going gluten free and many low fat foods are out because they have wheat as thickeners.
Anways, I will step down of my soap box now, but really it's not totally crazy. I will share one link that has some very basic information to get started with.