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can shortening be used in place of lard?

ziggystardust Feb 14, 2010 05:37 PM

I picked up an old cookbook from my parents - a 1960's Time/Life cookbook of recipes from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I want to try a goulash recipe but it calls for lard, can I substitute with shortening?

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    fourunder RE: ziggystardust Feb 14, 2010 06:00 PM

    Without seeing any of the recipes, I would still say you could substitute and type of oil in place of lard.....but it may, may not, affect the taste in your final product. If you are not seeking to substitute for any health reasons, you can trim the excess fat from your meat purchase of pork or beef and render the fat and use in place of the lard. Whenever I roast a shoulder or fresh ham, I always pour off the rendered fat into an old plastic container and save it just in case I may need it for future use....normally to brown something like a future roast. It's a lot cheaper than using Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

    9 Replies
    1. re: fourunder
      ziggystardust RE: fourunder Feb 14, 2010 06:18 PM

      No health issues, it's just that lard seems a bit antiquated and if I may say, disgusting.

      1. re: ziggystardust
        fourunder RE: ziggystardust Feb 14, 2010 06:27 PM

        Then, If the purpose of the lard is simply to brown the meat......you can use any oil you wish...or butter.

        1. re: fourunder
          ziggystardust RE: fourunder Feb 14, 2010 06:36 PM

          Thanks....why did people use lard at that time? Does it add more flavour?

          1. re: ziggystardust
            just_M RE: ziggystardust Feb 14, 2010 07:25 PM

            Lard does add a ton of flavor compared to any vegetable oil product and of course it was readily available. It also makes flaky crusts and biscuits that can not be duplicated with a vegetable oil product.

            From today's standpoint it does not contain any trans-fat, like shortening. It can be heated to high heat without releasing free-radicals unlike vegetable oil which generally contains free-radicals just from being processed if its not cold pressed and of course should not be heated to high heat. Sat fat is also more easily assimilated by us and is a better transporter of fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E & K and without those you are hosed for calcium, potassium, magnesium and so many others. A little lard goes a long way. Be well, M

            1. re: just_M
              ipsedixit RE: just_M Feb 14, 2010 07:43 PM

              Yes indeed. In many ways, lard is much more healthy than shortening.

            2. re: ziggystardust
              paulj RE: ziggystardust Feb 14, 2010 11:00 PM

              Lard is just rendered pork fat, in effect bacon grease without the salt or smoky flavor. Why use a store bought oil when you can use something that you already have on hand?

              1. re: ziggystardust
                epabella RE: ziggystardust Feb 15, 2010 05:33 AM

                yes, lard does add loads of superior flavor. even a cardiologist will not be able to resist food prepared with proper lard. and the same cardiologist will tell you that shortening (generously hydrogenated chock-full of vile trans-fat) will kill you faster than lard.

                1. re: ziggystardust
                  gordeaux RE: ziggystardust Feb 15, 2010 06:25 AM

                  Ppl still use lard, and it's used because it is delicious. I don't use it often, actually, only when I make tamales, and there is a huge difference in flavor between lard (and other animal fats) vs veggie, and / or manmade fats. I try to minimalize using ultra processed man made stuff because I know a lot of doctors that wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole. I'm an olive oil and butter type of person. Eating real food is always better than eating someone's science project, imo.

              2. re: ziggystardust
                gansu girl RE: ziggystardust Feb 15, 2010 09:22 AM

                disgusting? really? have you tasted stuff made w/lard? it creates a lovely flakiness if you're using it in pastry, great flavor and good heating properties if you're cooking with it in other ways. and I agree w/the others - the machine-made fat is a lot more gross than the stuff our grandparents used . . . . I challenge you to either render some good lard yourself, or to get some good lard and try it out - you might become a convert!


            3. ipsedixit RE: ziggystardust Feb 14, 2010 07:41 PM

              You can but it won't taste as good as using good old animal fat.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ipsedixit
                Indirect Heat RE: ipsedixit Apr 22, 2010 01:53 PM

                I second this. Lard = deliciousness.

              2. n
                North RE: ziggystardust Feb 15, 2010 12:50 PM

                For baked goods, you could use shortening, though you'd take a big hit on flavor. For goulash, I'd use bacon fat (basically lard), or butter if I didn't have any bacon fat. I wouldn't bother buying either shortening or lard for that kind of recipe, myself - cheaper and easier to do what fourunder suggests.

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                  andrewtree RE: ziggystardust Feb 15, 2010 01:52 PM

                  I also strongly recommend using lard, but take care with store bought as it may be hydrogenated. Nothing better than rendering your own, either with off cuts from a joint or ask your butcher for pork fat.

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                    cathyeats RE: ziggystardust Apr 22, 2010 08:15 AM

                    Why in the world would you want to eat all those trans fats? It's about the unhealthiest thing you can put in your body. I'd sooner eat lard.

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                      tonka11_99 RE: ziggystardust Apr 22, 2010 12:36 PM

                      About the only thing I could think of where it would make a big difference is baked goods like a pie dough. Otherwise I think it would be fine.

                      I like to collect old social group cookbooks, you know.. the ladies church group gets together and self publishes a little cookbook.

                      The old ones can be a hoot. I have one from the 1950's in Arkansas. Everything is fried in lard or shortening.

                      I have another from Alaska that is amazing! It has recipes like moose nose, pot roast of beaver and whale blubber. Just amazing.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tonka11_99
                        gansu girl RE: tonka11_99 Apr 24, 2010 04:35 AM

                        Just an FYI - I've used both lard & shortening in pie dough and they're pretty much interchangeable - so long as you're using leaf lard (clean & w/o as much porky flavor - i.e., NOT the lard you find in a can in a Latin market). I gave up Crisco/etc. years ago, in favor of lard in my pie crusts - everyone RAVES when I use lard and the crusts are more tender than w/shortening.


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