Friday, November 13, 2009

Lard 101

This particular batch is made from the back fat from a hog from Polyface farms. Joel Salatin's farm! (The famous sustainable agriculture farmer!) I'm so lucky. Hogs that are raised on pasture and or milk fed, on a natural diet, have considerably more nutrients, especially in their fat stores. Lard from pastured pigs is one of the highest vitamin D foods.

1. Cut pork fat into small pieces, the smaller the pieces the more lard will be rendered.
Bake pork fat at 225 degrees, for several hours, until the pieces no longer change in size.

Strain fat. Funnel into clean jars.
What remains is pork cracklins. Many people use these as "bacon bits." They've been cooked in one of the most nutrient rich fats, so try to find a use for them.
Let Lard come to room temperature, then refrigerate or freeze.

The color from each jar to jar varies depending on how much muscle tissue was on the pork fat from batch to batch.
Use Lard for frying, roasting or baking potatoes, vegetables. Use cold-frozen lard as shortening in recipes, especially pie crusts.
Lard from pastured pigs is one of the highest food sources of vitamin D. Get your vitamin D in a jar!

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