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The chill of fall is already in the air, all the fruit is ripening making me think about pie and when I think about pie it must also have a perfect crust to enclose the wonderful fruit of the season and for that you need lard! Thankfully with our pigs I have plenty of fat to render for this purpose and it is super easy to do. For the best quality lard for pastries always start with the leaf fat from around the kidneys, you can use back fat as well but it won't be as high quality.
5lbs of fat
1/4 cup of water
Cut your fat into chunks 1/4" cubes or smaller, making sure to trim any meat or blood spots out, (This is essential to reduce any porky flavor or smell) alternatively you can put it in your food processor to grind it into a paste, this will also increase your yield. I don't have a food processor right now so I choose to cut my fat up.
Place the chopped fat into a stock pot or dutch oven add 1/4 cup water and put it in the oven at around 200-250 degrees, allow the fat to melt. Stir every 10-20 minutes. after the fat starts to liquefy, skim it off with a ladle and pour through a sieve lined with cheese cloth or a clean paper towel into clean jars. Continue to drain off the fat till all you have left are crackings. Cool and freeze. You can also can it, so it is shelf stable but I haven't tried it yet. Continue to drain off the fat till all you have left are crackings.
.And simple as that you have healthy pastured lard for all of you cooking and baking needs! I hope this will helpful if you have any questions leave them in the comments below!