Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Making Lard

If you have reared your own pigs and they are one of the more traditional breeds such as saddleback or tamworth you may find that you are left with a considerable amount of fat.
If you are unsure of what to do with this fat particularly the flare fat (suet) that surrounds the kidneys and inside the belly I would suggest that you make your own lard. How I made my own lard was by mincing the left over fat, put it in a saucepan with about an inch of water in the bottom and heated it on a low heat for about an hour or so it eventually becomes quite transparent and liquid. I then sieved this mixture into a container and poured from this container through a funnel into a number of kilner jars that I had scrupulously cleaned. These jars should be left with the lid off until the following morning when they will have transformed into a brilliant snowy white and waxy substance which can become a trully wonderful component of many dishes (such as pork and rabbit rillettes). If you have used leaf or flare fat to make the lard it will be perfect for use in baking (something that I have yet to try). An an article I read in Meatpaper Issue 9 detailed a trial which was conducted to find out whether or not lard was better than butter for making pie pastry. As making a pie with just lard would seem to be a bit too fattening the trial used half lard half butter versus just butter in order to make a pie crust. The trial involved a blind tasting with 5 judges whom proved unanimously that the pie made with half lard half butter was far superior.

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