PRAISE THE LARD
It’s very rewarding to make every part of a recipe and it’s not very difficult to make your own lard for use in pastries and cooking. It’s also a great way of using the whole animal and reducing waste.
Cut, chop or mince your fat into the smallest pieces that patience will allow. If you’re mincing the lard yourself, it’s a good idea to chill it first and also chill the components of the mincer. You can save time by asking your butcher to mince the fat for you, something he’ll be more than happy to do if it’s not the end of the day and he’s just cleaned his mincer.
Put your lard in a large pan with a small amount of water over a low heat. The lard will slowly appear from the fat as a liquid and the water will evaporate naturally. As the fat renders you will need to strain it at intervals, both to keep it pure and also to prevent the solids left in the pan from burning which will add a bitter taste.
You will know when the lard is ready from the warm, golden brown colour of the liquid in your pan.
Allow it to cool slightly and then strain one more time before putting into sterile jars for those occasions when you can use it.
2kg pork fat, back fat is a good all rounder.
Native breeds of pig, when allowed to forage on a natural diet, carry more fat than mass produced pork. The fat produced by these pigs is much healthier as a result of both their diet and the lack of anti-biotics and growth promoters.