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LARD?

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  • may14 Feb 7, 2013 12:05 AM
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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.

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  1. 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. I will likely never cook with lard.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Musie

        My condolences.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          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

            Hence my condolences.

            1. re: chicgail

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

          Swift Brand Lard Recipe booklet from 1940's
          http://archive.org/details/QueensOfCu...

          1. 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

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

              1. re: wapfcat

                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

                  Yes, I love them.

            2. 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. 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. 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

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

                    1. re: Becca Porter

                      Beef Lard? Aka Suet?

                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                        No leaf lard, like she posted.

                  2. 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

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

                        1. This pie crust from Alton Brown is my favorite:
                          http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...
                          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

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

                          2. 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

                              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. 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. One source is prairiepridepork.com.

                                1. 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

                                    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. Here's a recipe for traditional Chinese almond cookies made with lard,
                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/286857

                                    Happy new year!

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                                      Happy New Year Melanie!

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

                                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                        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

                                          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. 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

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