Well, fear not! Lard you buy at the store is loaded with hydrogenated this and poly that. You know the drill. It’s not the fat that’s the problem, it’s the preservatives. This one has one ingredient… pig. It used to be common place for people to use lard for the purpose of super flaky and delicious pastries, frying meats, flour tortillas, or even spreading on bread like butter. It seems, as a people, we have traded in our lard for vegetable oils, I can’t believe it’s not butter, and other mass produced, pretty-packaged, big advertising budget, non-sense. Lard is good. Way better than the aforementioned stuff. Even science is starting to recognize that, while this is pure fat, it is better for you than imitation, lab created lard or lard substitutes. Furthermore, I like the fact that it fits into the common sense diet plan of, if your grandmother wouldn’t recognize the ingredients on the package, don’t eat it. Well, grandma certainly knows this one, and yours probably does too. Here’s the simple procedure for making your own:
I use a crockpot to render my lard.
Actually, for me, this is one of the few times I utilize a crock pot, come to think of it. So I try to get my hands on the amount of fat that will fill my crock pot to the top. I cut the fat into 1/2″ cubes, add about 1/4 cup of water to the bottom of the crock pot and then fill it to the brim with my pork fat cubes. Then, I just set the crock pot to it’s ‘low’ setting and let it do its thing. After the first hour, I open it up and give the chunks a stir. Then I just keep an eye on it and keep cooking until all the of fat has been turned to liquid and all that remains are small bits of meat (cracklins). Then I strain through cheesecloth into usable portions or into a jar as seen in the image above. This lard will keep in the freezer for a long time and will also keep in the refrigerator for a long time. Due to the fats involved, lard is not prone to going rancid. Oh, and remember the cracklins?.. don’t toss them out! Those are tasty too! You can fry or bake them to crisp them up and then use them as bacon bits on salads or just munch on them on their own.