Sunday, March 18, 2007

Rendering Lard

We miss flour tortillas something awful, and if we're going to make them right we need lard. I'm sure we could find some at one of the local, farang oriented stores, but store-bought lard tends to be hydrogenated, and therefore full of transfats. Also, our weekly market sells fatback and porkbelly for about 80 ฿ a kilo, not that you end up with a kilo of lard, since the cuts have a lot of meat on them (we just save it for fajitas). This recipe is for dry rendered lard.

  • leaf lard (fat from around the kidneys and loin), or fatback (as much as you think you can manage)
  • a tablespoon or two of water
  • knife
  • chopping block
  • a pan of manageable size
  • a clean piece of muslin
  • a sterile glass jar with a lid
  • a rubber band
  • oven preheated to 150˚ C, 300˚F
1. Chop the fat into small cubes, removing any meat, especially from the fatback. You can leave the skin on if you like, since it will fry and be delicious with a dash of salt.
2. Spread the fat evenly in the pan with some water, and stick it in the oven.
3. Cover the top of the jar with the muslin, attaching it with the rubber band.
4. As liquid fat begins to form pour it off into the the jar. This doesn't take that long, so keep a close eye on your lard.
5. Eventually less and less fat will liquefy, and you'll be left with a pan full of cracklings.
6. Cap your jar, and once the lard has cooled to room temperature place it in the fridge. Many people freeze their lard, but if you have a small quantity and will use it soon, don't bother.

Options: There are some instructions for wet rendered lard here, and some traditional recipes here.

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