The Farmstead Kitchen – Rendering Lard
Lard- organic lard is not really available in stores, but you can easily make it at home in your crockpot! The key to making snowy clear lard is to have long, low heat, which is nearly impossible on the stovetop. Crockpot to the rescue! Order organic pork fat from your local awesome butcher shop. Try the co-ops or Clancy’s meats in Mpls. Most people are fat-phobic, so this fat is often considered a waste product. So sad! Your first time, start with 3-5 lbs of fat, cut it up a bit, as this will help more fat separate from the cracklins. Put in your crock pot, cover and leave on high for 1/2 hour, then turn down to low overnight. In the morning, you’ll see a pool of liquid fat, which is very hot. Turn off and let cool for a bit before you want to strain into clean, warmed jars.
- your larding set up doesn’t need to be fancy!
You don’t want to press the cracklins in the strainer at first, or a porky flavor will spread throughout your lard (which is not bad, just keep that last pressing aside for frying hashbrowns.) The cracklins left over are delicious added to marinara sauce, mixed into bread dough, made into cracklin cookies, etc. We package the precious bits into reused containers and store in the freezer. Mark what it is, or you might be confused later!