Pastured pork fat (unrendered lard).
To render: simply heat in the slow cooker or a low oven or stovetop and pour off the fat that turns to liquid. The lower the heat the less pork taste will come through. You do not need to add water. Best to strain it through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth (that will also help it have less pork flavor and last longer). Should turn white when solid.
The solid bits that are left after rendering are known as cracklings and can be further cooked down and used as a replacement for croutons or just eaten straight! You can also feed them to the birds or to your pets as treats.
Cracklings can also be made savory by mixing in a little garlic, salt and pepper and stored in small snack bags in the freezer for a quick salad or steak topping. They can also be made more sweet with a little maple syrup and cinnamon and used on top of pumpkin pie or anything that could benefit from a taste and flavor boost with a little extra fat! (that's almost everything btw)
Use the rendered lard for all your high temp cooking! Store the rendered lard in the fridge or essentially treat it how you treat butter.
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Pie Crust with Lard Recipe
For 8” or 9” Single Crust Pie
1 cup flour
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup lard
2 Tbsp water
For 9” Double Crust Pie
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup lard
¼ cup water
Mix flour and salt in a bowl, blend in lard until particles are the size of peas. Sprinkle with water one tablespoon at a time mixing with fork until all flour is moistened.
Gather dough together until it cleans bowl sides. Press into ball (for double crust, divide in half).
Put on lightly floured surface. Roll out with rolling pin, do not add flour as it makes pastry tough. Keep pastry circular. Fold in half and transfer to pie pan.
For added fun, use a cookie cutter for top crust and cut out shapes to cover your pie!