What does King Crabby do when she gets a terrible cold? Nothing. Well that is not true. I sit on the couch, watch bad tv and read my cookbooks. I started re-reading Fat by Jennifer McLagan.

Growing up we always rendered lard from pork back fat (for frying) and leaf fat (for baking) and since I was going to be home all long weekend on the couch there was no better time to make lard. I special ordered 10lbs of back fat from Irving Meats. It cost only 50 cents a pound.

First you remove all the excess meat. Then you cut the fat into cubes. Then you place it in a roasting pan and add some water to the pan.

Then you place it in a 250 degree oven for 6 to 12 hours depending on how much fat you have and how large your pan is. This batch took closer to 12 hours. Every hour or so you have to stir the fat.

When the fat starts to break up and turn a golden colour you strain the fat.

You can then pour the strained liquid into jars. You can also return the solids to the oven to render more fat.

When you pour the lard into the jars it will be a clear, slightly yellow liquid. Allow it to cool completely before you put lids on the jars. When it cools it will turn white. The 10lbs of back fat made four jars of lard. That means it only cost me $1.25 a jar. The little jar is for you Jean. The lard will keep in the fridge for months and in the freezer even longer.

On Monday when I was feeling better I picked apples with Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton. It is an organization that pairs people who want fruit, but don’t have any fruit trees and plants with people who have fruit trees and plants, but don’t want to harvest the fruit. Generally a third of the fruit goes to the pickers, one third goes to the owners and another third goes to the food bank. We picked 100lbs in two hours. So I took home almost 20 pounds of apples for free. They told me they are always in need of pickers. So if you want free fruit look them up. They are also having a pie making get together on Sunday. Everyone gets to take home one pie and the rest go to charity. I think this is an amazing group and I plan on picking more fruit next summer.

Posted by King Crabby


9 thoughts on “Lard

  1. Wow! I am in awe; I remember my mom always had a jar of rendered fat lurking aound that she cooked. Haven’t see this in a long while and had no idea people still used this. great blog.

  2. I got to hear Jennifer McLagan speak last year at Edmonton’s Litfest and I was so moved by her that I bought that same book right then and there and got it autographed. Love looking through it.

    I’ve never rendered any fat but I know that the leftover fat from making bacon ALWAYS gets used up in my house.

    • I was also at LitFest last year to hear here speak. I already had this book, but I bought and had her sign ‘bones’. LitFest has another food event this year at Kids in the Hall which I am going to try to make it to.

  3. Thanks for the lard, Crabby. I’m going to be making bannock! So because it’s from back fat, does that mean I can’t use it in pie crust? I was at my parent’s house yesterday and was surprised to see my mom pour bacon drippings into a pan to fry their pork chops – way old school (I sometimes add some bacon drippings to my pancake batter). I have that cookbook too, next to my bed so I can have lovely lard and butter and schmaltz dreams.

  4. I am picking up my 10 pounds of fat tomorrow to do some pork belly confit – so I have to render it, too. I cannot believe you did this. It is a bazaar coincidence. I mean – WHO does this? And we are both doing it. But, what do you mean leaf fat for pastry? That I want to be sure not to misunderstand.

    • That is too funny. You’re right, I don’t know anyone else (besides my mom) who still renders fat. Leaf lard comes from the area around the kidneys of a pig and is a high grade of fat and is preferred for baking for its neutral taste. It is referred to as leaf fat or leaf lard and if you ask a butcher they will know what you mean. I was also thinking I would make some pork rillette later this winter.

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