What is the proper way to procure lard from meats? What types of meats can be used? Should it be strained? How do I store it? How long will it keep before I risk the health of my dinner guests (and my reputation)? thanks!
I discovered this post a few days ago via @mrswheelbarrow's Pinterest board: http://www.spain-in-iowa.com/2011/02/how-render-lard-the-right-way-snow-white/
lard can be rendered from any pig fat but best quality is from the fat around the kidneys, makes leaf lard. can render on the stove or in the oven, like the recipes from rick bayless and jane grigson the art of charcuterie, the lard can be stored up to 6 mo in frig
the cracklings left after rendering make crackling bread
the lard makes incredible biscuits and pie crust
also can use for any recipe, used for Julia Child's pork with red cabbage and chestnuts, insanely delicious
I agree with both previous posts. I prefer to render lard on top of the stove because my experience is that I have to clean the oven afterwards and I do not like to do that. Lard also makes incredible flour tortillas. You do not have to strain it for that, the tiny brown bits make you forget all that cholesterol going to your arteries. Especially when you slather on the butter.
I store my leaf lard in the freezer. It keeps for a long time -- in my experience up to a year. Here's another post from the Homesick Texan blog about rendering lard w/ pictures! http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/2008/05/how-to-render-lard.html
Everyone is correct--you want what's called leaf lard, from around the kidneys of a pig. It comes in big chunks. (It can be frozen.) You cut it into pieces--about an inch--and put them in a big pot that you can push to the bag of the stove and leave all day on low heat, as the lard slowly renders. You can periodically pour off the melted fat, if you like---through a strainer, to remove the tasty cracklings. I generally pour it into a sheet cake pan to harden. A cold place works here--back room, garage. Then I cut it into squares (weighing it would be ideal) and bag and freeze it. That's all. It does make delicious pie crust that is not at all pork-y. I wouldn't touch grocery store lard.