Rendering lard at home is fairly easy. Firstly purchase some Irvings pork fat. There are two types you can use: 1. Leaf / Internal fat (surrounds the kidneys) and makes a pure white tasteless lard. or 2. Back fat which is the layer of fat under the skin of the pig, which can sometimes have a more porky flavor.
We make our lard from the leaf fat, so it is suitable for both sweet and savory dishes. We also make it in a turkey roaster, but a crock pot, or stove top method will also work well. Secret is to keep the temperature low, and stir from time to time.
We use 1.5 kg fat (either ground or small cubes) and 1 cup of water. The water helps to stop the fat from burning. It isn't essential, but it does help if you are easily distracted.
- Turn on turkey roaster to 250OF
- Put water and fat into roaster and spread evenly
- Render for 2 hours until the fat has separated, and can see a pale liquid, with small solids.
- Strain liquid through a cheesecloth / double layer ham stockinette to remove solids
- Pour liquid into containers – discard solids or bake to make little cracklings
- Cool until lard solidifies. Once cold it should be pure white. If it is a slightly off white color it just means it is slightly burnt. It is still fine to use.
Lard can be used as a cooking fat, or for use in a high fat diet. Lard is a saturated fat which tend to be more stable than other fats, and therefore healthier. Avoid store bought lard products as they often contain other ingredients and can be hydrogenated. Use fat from quality animals, raised outside and free range if possible.