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Posts Tagged ‘rendering lard’

Lard is a very maligned fat.

In response to the  many questions I received regarding pig fat or lard here is some specific information about “this greatly misunderstood fat”.

Lard is the rendered fat of a pig, and it can be used in cooking and baking.  Historically, lard has been a popular cooking ingredient, although it acquired a stigma in parts of the West in the twentieth century.  In some countries, lard can be difficult to obtain, because consumers perceive it as being more unhealthy than butter or vegetable shortening.

The facts are lard contains just 40 percent saturated fat (compared with nearly 60 percent for butter).  Its level of monounsaturated fat (the “good” fat) is “a very respectable 45%”,  “double butter’s paltry 23 or so percent”.  It is also one of our richest dietary sources of Vitamin D.  If you want  to appreciate the virtues of this health food, you need to fry thin chips or a chicken drumstick in it .

There are several grades of lard.

The finest is leaf lard, which comes from the area around the kidneys of the pig. Back lard is another high grade.

To make lard, either a wet or dry rendering process is used. Wet lard is made by steaming or boiling fat. Since the fat is not water soluble, it will float to the top, and the cook can simply skim it off.  Dry rendering uses a large pan and no water to heat the fat, allowing the cook to skim impurities away.  So if I you want the freshest, purest, most nutritious lard available.  Make it yourself or get it here from ”Oldfarm”.

Rendering lard

There are all sorts of uses for lard.

Jars of home-made Lard

It has been traditionally popular in pastry, since it yields light, flaky pastry for use in pies. It can also be used as an all-purpose cooking and frying fat.  It can be used to replace butter in recipes. When replacing butter with lard, use approximately one fifth less lard than the recipe calls for. Plain fresh lard is actually not more harmful than fats such as butter, [although heavily processed lard will contain harmful compounds]. Lard also has a much higher smoking point than butter and olive oil, making it suitable for a wide range of dishes.

Check out these other studies on lard:

Footsteps Farm Today

Divine Health

 

Contributed by Pigoftheday: http://www.twitter.com/pigoftheday

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