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.
Thanks Missy!I’m so back and forth on the ‘fat conversation’. I’m enjoying working with coconut oil, but lard freaks me out a bit…. Hmm… I need to learn more!
BuTW, the quiche looks gorgeous!
I am curious…is it for health reasons that it freaks you out or because of handling it….cause it really isn’t gross to work with. In terms of health, lard is high in vitamin D and antitoxidants, and up until more recently (WWII, I think) was an important part of people’s diet same as butter and lots of other “fatty” things. The low fat/no fat, low calorie really didn’t start out as a health thing…it was to save pennies and then gradually became a trend in “healthy eating”. Some of the major research done to show that this was better for us has apparently since been refuted…even by some of the researchers themselves! Anyways, I am sure that you have lots of information and I don’t need to preach at you:). This is just something that excites me for some odd reason.
That’s so interesting!For me, I jsut keep stopping at ‘fat’. I’ve been SO immersed in lowfat/fatfree, that the whole ‘animal fat’ and ‘pork!’ and ‘lard!’ needs to go through so many layers of miseducation in my head. I really undestand that feeling of excitement though; it’s stirring in me as well. There’s something VERY exciting and freeing about this….
That quiche looks incredible!!
Dea’ if you’re stopping in 3 hills on your trip, you can buy some inexpensive coconut oil from me, I have 3 gallons!
K, so I have been wondering about what other oils and fats I could use to cook with! I want to find a substitute for hydrogenated oils! I know there’s coconut oil, and olive oil is expensive. I’ve not considered lard, well, because, it’s just not really popular. But I did see it in the hispanic store. Just a big white tub with simple lettering: “LARD” on it. Not so attractive. But Missy, can you use it in sweet baked goods? Or would that be gross? We are also trying to move away from processed foods, and I”m trying to find a cheaper way to cook/bake with oils.
Yeah, I use coconut oil alot, I am kind of moving away from olive oil because it actually goes rancid quite fast and you really only get the health benefits from it when used in salad dressing and such, as opposed to high heat.It actually is only since I think the nineties that some fast food chains stopped deep frying with lard…mostly cost and the unsaturated fat hydrogenated oils trends…too bad, they would have been better for us!
And Yes, yes, yes! You can use it in sweet baked goods. I have only used it for pastry at this point because it is pretty new to me but I have read that it actually makes for the best baked goods. It doesn’t taste like pork or anything. Actually, the French apparently really love lard in their baking….and also have very low heart disease numbers. Let me know if you try it and what you come up with!
Oh and it keeps for a long time in the fridge (6 months) or freezer( up to a year) and I think that like many things it would keep longer.
K, so if I find lard at the store… how will I know if it’s ‘good’ if it’s just sitting on the shelf? How long should it last if it’s sitting at room temp? You said that store lard has things added to it.. I guess I can just look at the ingredients label..? I’m really excited about this. I really want to try it! I have been making granola… and I wanted to find something to substitute the cup of vegetable oil it calls for! So extra virgin olive oil is pretty much only good if you don’t cook it?
ok if it is sitting on the shelf it is will contain citric acid and be at least partially hydrogenated to prevent rancidity, thus having trans fats. It might still be better for you then some other choices but I personally would avoid it and go for one that is not hydrogenated at all if possible.I will ask Lola though because she might know more.
[…] 1 c. Lard, chilled (If you are interested in reading more about lard, see my Lard post and this one) […]