Lard is made of 100% pork fat and is actually HEALTHY. Yes, I said it.
There was a time that people used lard, but after the invention of subpar (in my opinion) alternatives made of vegetable shortening (not made from veggies by the way), lard became less popular.
The Health Facts
Until, we discovered that that shortening was made of primarily trans fats, which lead to heart disease and other ailments and illnesses.
Lard actually contains NO trans fats. It has LESS saturated fat and cholesterol than butter. It contains HEALTHY monounsaturated fats, just like Olive Oil. And because it has a high smoke point, it is great for frying foods.
How is lard made?
The process of making lard is called rendering. Lard is made when pork fat is separated from the meat and heated slowly until the fat turns into a liquid. Once this happens, it simply needs to be strained into a mason jar. It’s super easy! You can purchase fresh fatback or leaf fat and render it yourself on the stove top or even in a crockpot (my favorite way). If you aren’t much of a DIYer, we have pasture-raised lard here!
How do you use lard?
Oh let me count the ways!!
We use lard to oil pans for stovetop cooking and baking. We use lard in biscuits and probably our favorite is pie crusts! We add a dollop of lard in our rice cooker. Fried Chicken is perfect when cooked in lard because of the high smoking point! Cooking pancakes in lard gives them that amazing crust that you get at restaurants (perfectly paired with pinky link sausages). Using lard instead of butter in baking, you get flakier crusts and moist baked goods!
Are you ready? Give it a try and let me know how you like it!