You can use lard to cook eggs, meat and vegetables, especially potatoes. I made some sweet potato fries with this lard and they were really tasty, not greasy at all. If you have rendered leaf lard, you can use it instead of butter (or in combination with butter) in baked goods. Make sure to try it in a pie crust for a perfect, flaky crunch.
- 2.25 kg pork rind (fatback)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Use a very sharp knife to slice the skin away from the fat. When all of the skin is removed, cut the fat into pieces. The lard will render best if the pieces are relatively small.
Place it in a heavy-duty pot on the stove over heat that is high enough to melt the fat, but not too hot that it might burn. I stirred the fat around every now and then: it took a little over an hour for the fat to be fully rendered.
When the process is complete, you will end up with a good amount of liquid (that’s the rendered lard), as well as some solids (crackling). Allow everything to cool a bit and then strain through a cheesecloth-lined colander.
Carefully transfer lard to glass jars for storage and place in the refrigerator or freezer
The liquid may be dark yellow/light brownish when you pour it into your jars, but it will lighten up when it solidifies.
Lard will keep for several months in the refrigerator and much longer in the freezer.
• The lard may smell strongly of pork during the rendering process. It’s best to do this on a day when you can open the windows in the kitchen.
• If you cook in cast-iron, lard is also great for seasoning your pans.
Recipe from Healthy Green Kitchen by Winnie Abramson, with photographs Winnie Abramson.