Not too many years ago I would have laughed if someone had looked at me and said “Someday, someone will ask you to post a recipe on how to make lard”. After the laugh I would say, “whoiswhatcha make your own lard?” Well I make my own lard and people have asked me how to make this most wonderful of fat products.
Most wonderful you say, doesn’t it cause mass hysteria, kill fathers and make mothers insane and children go bad? Nope, it’s not exactly healthy for you, but then neither again is all the other crap we pump into our bodies on a daily basis. Lard does add a tremendous amount of good to food though and is actually better for you than butter and many of the other ‘natural’ oils (fats) that are found in our supermarket.
So without further ado, Lard.
Heavy bottomed pot (cast iron works well), wooden spoon, knife, cutting board, mason jars or something to hold your finished freshly cooked pig fat in, a fine strainer, and a super fine filter (paper coffee filter).
Meat Grinder! (yes, if you have one 100% use it)
1kg (about 2.2lbs) Pig Fat (back fat rocks this)
Water (amount later)
Take all of your lovely back fat and cut it into 1cm cube (.5″), that is it UNLESS you have meat grinder. If you do then grind all that lovely stuff up (make sure it’s frozen before you do this), if it isn’t frozen what you will most likely get is a very ugly mess (freeze it).
Put the heavy bottomed pot on your stove and turn it onto low heat, pour enough water to cover the bottom up to about 5-10mm of deep (about .25″) allow the water to come up to barely a simmer.
Slowly add a 125 ml (.5 cup) of the back fat to the water at a time. Stir every 10 minutes or so, you will notice that the fat starts very quickly melting away. Add more back fat every 10 minutes until you have it all in the pot. You will see the cell structure that doesn’t melt at the bottom of the pot; this you will strain out when done.
Once you have all of the fat in the pot, it’s just a time issue. It can take from 30 minutes to 2 hours to complete. Do not let the fat turn brown if you can help it. You will notice a considerable difference in the bubbles of the fat once all the water has been simmered away. The other interesting thing is that even though the fat is simmering you will start to see very very little steam coming from the pot (if any) once completed.
Do not let it cool – BE CAREFUL – and strain the solids that are left in the pot out. We have a strainer specifically made to fit a filter and it works perfectly. You may have to strain it, then run it through a coffee filter. You must remove all the particulate while it is still hot, then pour into your mason jars. Seal hot, then let cool and put in your fridge…enjoy!