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Feb 14, 2010 05:37 PM

can shortening be used in place of lard?

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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  1. 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

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

      1. re: ziggystardust

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

        1. re: fourunder

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

          1. re: ziggystardust

            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

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

            2. re: ziggystardust

              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

                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

                  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

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

              1 Reply
              1. 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.

                1. 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.

                  1. 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.