I love lard. Lard should be snowy white. But give me a break, I didn't follow a lard rendering recipe and it's still OK to use! Not burnt tasty! If it comes out dark, it's supposed to have a more burnt taste, but this didn't have a burnt flavor, so I say it's still good to use. No one is perfect, especially not this gal! ;)
So I split a meat share with some friends last week and I was lucky enough to land a few pounds of pig back fat. SCORE. In anticipation of the Paleo Parents book release of Beyond Bacon, I needed to render some lard ASAP so I could get cooking. I pre-ordered their cookbook and got it Wednesday- I'm not sure if I should make lard crust first, pork tamales, "corn" dogs, biscuits, lard butter (omg), or maple pecan lard scones, or the gazillion other ridiculous recipes most of which have lard in the ingredients.
So, lard. I had never rendered lard before, I also, when Googling, didn't really find the same directions twice. So I experimented. I'll let you know what I did, and what I did wrong. Learn from my imperfections people!
2lbs back fat
Yield: ~10 oz lard
- I cut the backfat into cubes, about 1/2" in size.
- Put a large pot on medium/low heat and tossed the cubes in.
- Mixed around a bit and let it sit. Liquid will begin to puddle.
- After about an hour and a half, I strained the liquid into a glass jar.
- I put the remainding cubes back into the pot for another 30 minutes until I could not render any more liquid.
- I strained the liquid into the jar once more.
I did not do anything wrong, per se, because the lard doesn't have a burnt flavor to it, buut it would be best if the liquid was drained more often than an hour and a half to two hours. The longer you let the liquid cook in the pot, the more likly it will burn. You could also cut the fat into smaller peices. Um, yeah, so that's about it! It's super, super easy and very rewarding! :D
Also-- you get extra bang for your buck- you get crispy bacon bits! Now, it's not actually bacon because bacon comes from the belly of the pig, but it has a porky flavor and you can use it for all the same applications. Since we had some large pieces, we put the crispy leftovers into a food processor, which gave us the 'bacon bits' consistency to put ontop of salads or to mix into burgers. You could easily grind the bits up even finer and add a bunch of salt to it, and have your own pork salt! (How good does THAT sound?!)