Rendering Lard – Dos and Don’ts

We split a half pig with Addie and Drew and last time I asked, the butcher gave me more fat than I knew what to do with. I don’t think many people ask for it… This time around it was nicely wrapped and separated into the different kinds of fat (back fat, leaf lard, maybe something else.) I rendered it down using the same technique as last time. I tried to get fancy this time by cooling it in a 9×13 pan lined with waxed paper, which I thought would just pop right out of the pan once the lard was hardened in the refrigerator.

Nope. It was stuck, bad. I ended up having to set the pan in a bath of hot water to melt the fat on the edges to release it from the pan, and the whole this was a slippery mess. Eventually I ended up with nice, wrapped portions of lard, but it was an adventure getting there. I’ll need to figure out a better method for next year.

As always, the pie crusts made with lard are really amazing. I haven’t been that impressed with much else – I had high hopes for biscuits but they just tasted a little greasy. For some reason on a crust, the flavor backs off and the fat gives an amazing flaky texture. We made a leek tart right away just to confirm. Yep, still tasty and amazing.

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