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Known to many for my incredible ability to organize, I tackle gardening and life with equal verve.  Obsessive, is that a bad thing?

Rendered Lard

By Tammy Kimbler


3 lbs raw leaf or back fat combination


Cut your fat into small cubes.  If it’s back fat you can grind it in your sausage grinder.  Don’t try to grind the leaf fat as it will just cream like butter.  Place your fat in a heavy bottom pot and place it on the lowest setting on your stovetop.  You do not want to “fry” your fat.  You just want it to slowly melt.  Think of it just like butter.  If you fry the butter, the milk solids cook and eventually burn.  Lard will do the same thing.  You want a nice low heat that will keep the lard fresh and creamy, not fried and burnt.  If your lard temp gets to high just remove it from heat to cool down. I have it on good authority that a crockpot set on low works great for this. 

As the lard renders ladle out the melted fat into a strainer lined with cheese cloth.  The cheese cloth will catch any tissue bits from your fat. 

When you’ve rendered all the fat you can, ladle off the remaining liquid.  This should leave you with some pork bits in the pan.  Turn up the heat and fry these until crisp, then drain and sprinkle with salt and chili powder.  Now you have a little chef’s snack of cracklins.  Share them, or don’t.  They make great additions to salad, just like bacon bits.

Store your lard in the refrigerator for up to a month, or in the freezer for long periods up to a year.  I freeze it right in the mason jar.