In Praise of Pork Fat

Lard is prized for pie crusts, refried beans, and baked goods, but the white bricks of goo sold as lard in the supermarket are “partially or fully hydrogenated, making it much much worse for you than real, natural lard,” says celeriac. “The hydrogenated bricks are not good lard,” agrees Karl S. Where to find the real thing: rich, luscious leaf lard?

Lionette’s has a couple of quarts a week, according to BarmyFotheringayPhipps. Formaggio is a slightly more reliable source, but call ahead and make sure they have it. “I always have some of their lard on hand in the freezer for pie crusts, etc. Keeps great,” says gansu girl. Pete and Jen’s Backyard Birds usually has lard described as “beautiful” by several hounds; it’s $6 a pint.

If you have the time and wherewithal, you can also render your own lard from pork fat purchased from the supermarket. Karl S outlines the procedure: “All it takes is a few minutes of chopping, and a couple of hours of simmering to render, then straining, mixing strained fat with some water (to capture impurities along the meniscus between the water and the chilled fat) and refrigerating and then cutting off the clean part of the solid chilled fat from the rest.” Oh, is that all?

For more info on rendering or purchasing lard, see these Digest posts:
Making Lard
The Joy of Pure Lard

And for a step-by-step guide, see Daniel Duane’s method for rendering lard on CHOW.

Lionette’s Market [South End]
537 Tremont Street, Boston
617-778-0360

Formaggio Kitchen [Cambridge]
244 Huron Avenue, Cambridge
617-354-4570

Pete and Jen’s Backyard Birds [MetroWest]
159 Wheeler Road, Concord
978-318-0063

Board Link: Where to buy lard?

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