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may14 Feb 7, 2013 12:05 AM

Lard is actually not that bad for you. Just google it and you will find that it contains oleic acid (good for battling depression), lowers LDL levels, and leaves the good HDLs constant. It's one of the oldest forms of fats used in cooking and is much better for you than shortening, margarine, or butter.

Not to mention it is so much tastier in cooking and makes the best pie crusts ever. All this being said, what are your thoughts on lard and would you consider incorporating it in your diet? SUPER CURIOUS.

  1. r
    rasputina Feb 7, 2013 05:39 AM

    I always have some in my kitchen. It has a myriad of uses from coating my bare cast iron pans to biscuits, pie crust, roux, frying ect.

    1. Musie Feb 7, 2013 05:47 AM

      I will likely never cook with lard.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Musie
        ipsedixit Feb 7, 2013 07:22 PM

        My condolences.

        1. re: ipsedixit
          chicgail Feb 8, 2013 12:58 AM

          I get that you like using pork, but I'm sure you realize that some people have religious objections to eating pork - and others have moral or health concerns about it.

          1. re: chicgail
            ipsedixit Feb 8, 2013 07:40 AM

            Hence my condolences.

            1. re: chicgail
              Musie Feb 9, 2013 04:02 PM

              It's not a religious thing for me, more a mental thing. I was raised by a vegetarian mother, which has caused me to be highly fussy about meat and meat by products.

              No condolences are needed though. because I have had things that used lard, and with the exception to my grandmothers apple pie, I didn't like it all that much.

        2. Antilope Feb 7, 2013 06:12 AM

          On Archive.org, readable online and in e-book format:

          Swift Brand Lard Recipe booklet from 1940's

          1. hotoynoodle Feb 7, 2013 06:31 AM

            i haven't been able to find it from organic pastured pigs. if i could, i would use it in a heartbeat. i won't go near the hydrogenated cafo stuff on the grocery shelves.

            3 Replies
            1. re: hotoynoodle
              wapfcat Feb 7, 2013 12:35 PM

              Same here. We would love to cook with it if we could only find a good source for it.

              1. re: wapfcat
                emily Feb 8, 2013 12:17 PM

                I buy 10 lbs of excellent leaf lard at a time from Dietrich Meats in PA. They ship. Usually comes out to about $3 lb, if I remember correctly.

                1. re: emily
                  Becca Porter Feb 9, 2013 09:58 AM

                  Yes, I love them.

            2. Candy Feb 7, 2013 09:11 AM

              Nothing wrong with butter either. The bad fats are fats that are hard at room temp. Of course I use it and butter. I get my lard from local farmers. I don't use the grocery store stuff.

              1. l
                LJS Feb 7, 2013 09:26 AM

                I have used lard in pastry recipes...it is still sold locally (and organically) here in rural Nova Scotia. I know it has a reputation as being the best shortening for pastry, especially preparations calling for meat. But, IMHO, it isn't truly superior to good old shortening-from-a-can for dessert/fruit pies and if I want to go grand, I lean on butter for added richness.

                Now, suet... that is a shortening of a different colour and well-worth the hunt for good suet...anybody tried a Lemon Pond Pudding?

                1. chicgail Feb 7, 2013 11:12 AM

                  I used it once to make a pie crust. It smelled. My kitchen smelled. I smelled. I threw out the dough. If I could find really fresh lard ... maybe.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: chicgail
                    Becca Porter Feb 7, 2013 11:57 AM

                    What you need is leaf lard from around the kidneys. It is virtually flavorless. It's wonderful.

                    1. re: Becca Porter
                      Sal Vanilla Feb 9, 2013 01:28 PM

                      Beef Lard? Aka Suet?

                      1. re: Sal Vanilla
                        rasputina Feb 9, 2013 04:10 PM

                        No leaf lard, like she posted.

                  2. a
                    AngelaID Feb 7, 2013 11:54 AM

                    I render my own lard every year when we get our pig. Some things just *must* be made with lard! And not that stuff in the tub from the grocery store. Fried potatoes, fried chicken, fried corn bread, fried eggs. I'm not a baker, but I do know a lot of my older foodie friends still use lard for pie crusts.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: AngelaID
                      jammy Feb 7, 2013 12:18 PM

                      I get leaf lard from my wonderful butcher. The lard is easy to render and produces a white fat with very little smell or flavour.

                    2. c
                      Chazz27 Feb 7, 2013 12:42 PM

                      I get leaf lard from a company called Prairie Pride Pork in Minnesota. You can order it online. It is a little pricey but I just can't find it here which I find unusual since I am in Texas. Their lard is excellent and I am about to order some.

                      1. m
                        may14 Feb 7, 2013 03:52 PM

                        thanks for all the responses/help! will be giving it a try.

                        1. blue room Feb 7, 2013 07:20 PM

                          This pie crust from Alton Brown is my favorite:
                          It uses 6 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of lard and I find it just right for both sweet and savory crusts.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: blue room
                            Sal Vanilla Feb 9, 2013 01:29 PM

                            I use that ratio too. Sometimes I sub shortening if I don't have lard.

                          2. h
                            Harters Feb 8, 2013 05:48 AM

                            I use lard in pastry, particularly for meat pies, and occasionally fry with it.

                            It had fallen out of popularity in recent years but is now benefitting from a renaissance due to an increasing interest in cooking traditional dishes. It's always been readily availble in the supermarkets.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Harters
                              chicgail Feb 8, 2013 06:50 AM

                              I don't think it's lard that's we've said is hard to find. I think it's fresh lard or leaf lard.

                            2. RUK Feb 8, 2013 07:51 AM

                              Ahh, childhood memories! Haven't had it in a while, rendered Lard with Onions. The Onions were nicely browned in the hot Lard, actually sometimes my mother added some sliced Apples to this mix too. We ate this on a good Sourdough Rye with a touch of salt. I also liked this kind of Lard mix ( instead of Butter) with some Camembert on dark bread or Rye.
                              Nowadays I try ( not always easy to come by around here) to use some Lard in my Christmas Stollen baking.

                              1. m
                                mwhitmore Feb 8, 2013 08:51 AM

                                One source is prairiepridepork.com.

                                1. PesachBenSchlomo Feb 8, 2013 03:26 PM

                                  I've got carnitas simmering in lard right now - pork shoulder chunks slowly, slowly cooking in lard flavored with orange and lime juice, cumin and Mexican Oregano. Yum.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: PesachBenSchlomo
                                    Sal Vanilla Feb 9, 2013 01:31 PM

                                    My mouth actually watered reading that. I am making a hack porchetta this coming week. I think I am gonna take piece of pork off that monster and make some carnitas.

                                  2. Melanie Wong Feb 9, 2013 01:19 PM

                                    Here's a recipe for traditional Chinese almond cookies made with lard,

                                    Happy new year!

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                                      Sal Vanilla Feb 9, 2013 01:32 PM

                                      Happy New Year Melanie!

                                      I love almond cookies made with lard. They don't taste right without it.

                                      1. re: Sal Vanilla
                                        ipsedixit Feb 9, 2013 07:01 PM

                                        Almond cookies without lard would be like an omelet without eggs.

                                        In fact, I can't really imagine any traditional Chinese pastry (non-cake category) without lard.

                                        1. re: Sal Vanilla
                                          Melanie Wong Feb 14, 2013 01:14 AM

                                          It's important to use fresh lard, not the shelf-stable hydrogenated stuff. Here's the photo of the tubs on the shelf at the Chinese/Mexican supermarket. They were still warm. You'll note that the color is beige-ish. Since there were bags of chicharrones on the shelf too, I imagine that the lard is the by-product.

                                          I've been doling out the cookies a few at a time to young friends who I know have never tasted such things before. They've all commented on the tender texture and richness of flavor and then are at a loss to place it. Then I tell them it's lard-based and they immediately acknowledge that they couldn't figure out the meaty/protein flavor. We've been calling them "pig cookies".

                                      2. MidwesternerTT Feb 9, 2013 01:27 PM

                                        No, I'll not use lard since I so seldom make anything that would call for it. I use butter for most baking, and use vegetable oil for a pie crust recipe I've successfully made several times. I keep a small can of shortening on-hand but replace it each time it reaches the (2 year or more) expiration date.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: MidwesternerTT
                                          Sal Vanilla Feb 9, 2013 04:05 PM

                                          At the exp. date you can use the lard for suet for birds.

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