Do not look away in horror, you are about to see a graphic image of rendered pork fat in liquid form!
Rendered pork fat or lard is good for baking or frying; it makes for excellent flour tortillas, refried beans and tamales; and if you are afraid that it is horribly bad for you, think again. If you make your own: rendered pork fat has NO trans fat, less saturated fat than butter, and twice as much monounsaturated fat as butter.* Also, it will not make everything taste like pork. It has a mild neutral flavor.
Unknown Papi decided to make some pork lard. He went to our local butcher that sells humanely-raised pigs and asked for a pound of pork fat (either leaf lard or fat back). Guess what? They gave it to him for FREE. I guess no one here wants it. Poor maligned, lard. Call it rendered pork fat and it sounds fancy.
Here’s how he made it:
- cut about a pound of pork fat it into little pieces and remove any bits of meat that are left on it
- put it in a pot with about half a cup to a cup of water
- cook it on medium heat while stirring occasionally
- once it has turned into a yellowish liquid (takes about an hour), strain it and refrigerate it overnight
The results: minimally processed, non-hydrogenated fat, that is even photogenic.
It should keep in the fridge for about 3 months and in the freezer for up to a year.
Perhaps, soon the term lard-ass will no longer be a pejorative. I’ll tell you what, I’d rather be a lard-ass than a butter-ass or margerine-ass; it would mean I’m healthier.
*Commercial pork lard is typically hydrogenated for stability (not good: hydrogenated = trans fat). Comparisons of fats in reference to butter: saturated fats = bad, monounsaturated fats = good.