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May 3, 2014 09:01 PM

Lard biscuits

I got a deal on a very large boston butt (11 lbs @ 79c per lb). Three different dishes: Pork Adobo, Mexican shredded pork (orange, tomato, garlic/onion), roast w/lemon, garlic, rosemary). Before each dish I slowly rendered extra fat, skimmed, separated fat from juices (returned) and have left almost 1 1/2 c of white, clear, no-salt, pork fat. Now in freezer in ice cube size. This morning I made biscuits - partly in memory of husband's Grandmother, died @ 94 15 years ago who made them her entire life (Wilmington NC).

About 3 big glops (technical term here) of lard. I used left-over clabbered milk mixed w/old yogurt. 1/2 ww pastry flour and 1/2 White Lily unbleached self-rising. Added 2 tsp extra bkng. pdr and 1 tsp bkng. soda. No extra salt. About 3 c flour. I didn't measure the milk.

Very wet dough (deliberate) hands dipped in cold water to shape, put in well-warmed (not hot) 8" cast iron frying pan. Put in pre-heated 425
Breville counter oven till lightly gold (10 min). 2 min broil for brown.

I swear these are the biscuits of dreams. Wish every C'h could have one w/me.

Am i the only lard-head here?

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  1. Lard is wonderful.

    It's my preferred fat for baking.

    Lard, shortening, oil ... in that order of preference. Butter only, and only, when absolutely necessary.

    1. I use lard for baking too, usually in combination with butter. I've been meaning to try biscuits with some fabulous leaf lard I rendered recently but haven't gotten around to it. Thanks for the reminder!

        1. re: treb

          glad to hear from a few other folks.

          where do y'all get/make your lard?
          did you grow up w/family using lard?

          ipsedix - treb, do you use it in piecrust? bread? I've only used it for biscuits and fried chicken.

          what else is best w/lard?

          do you tell people? whats the reaction? i've told people (non-vegetarians) some are curious, some are yucked out. most are surprised biscuits aren't nasty/greasy.

          1. re: kariin

            I use leaf lard from the butcher. The butcher grinds the leaf lard/kidney fat (from organically fed pigs) into "pellets" that render down into amazing white lard that I store in the fridge in a wide mouth mason jar for easy scooping.

            I save it more for baking (which I don't do a lot of). I use duck fat for frying (which I also don't do a lot of). The lard allows for a very tender baked item, so I think about that before deciding what fat to use. I don't use it in bread because it wouldn't matter as I make pizza dough or french bread (no or little fat needed) most of the time.

            I don't usually talk about it with anyone. The only time I talk about the ingredients in my baking for others would be for GF or vegetarian friends. I suppose most non food friends would think it was gross.

            1. re: kariin

              Lard is great in pie crust. Use it in about a 1:3 ratio with butter (1 part lard to 3 parts butter).

              Lard is also great in things like cornbread, scones, tart shells, pound cake, certain types of bread lie zucchini. It's important to note that lard is rarely if ever a perfect 1:1 substitute for other fats - be it shortening, oils, or butter. But in combination with those other fats, you can elevate your baked goods from "this is really good" to "wow, will you marry me?!" kind of good.

              There are, however, some things that are exclusively lard. Two that come to mind are almond cookies and mooncakes.

              I'm fortunate to have access to a restaurant supplier and that's where my lard is sourced. But your local butcher should be able to take care of you.

              As to telling? No not unless the person is a vegetarian, and if that's the case I just indulge in front of them and taunt them with all that lardiness.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Lard in pound cake ? Almond cookies? yes. suggestions?

                Don't know where you are, ipsedixit or sedimental.

                Local independent butcher shops near me (2) just said it wasn't worth the trouble to process, package and sell.

                They suggested they discard it but I wonder about that. One place, about 30 minutes away is an abbatoir mainly processing game in the fall but will handle nearly anything. I took a deer there and and learned they handle hogs, goat, pigs etc. They do render and sell if they have it, usually Mon. - Wed. and almost exclusively to Latino - Asian community. Hunters keep them in business. They grind pork fat to add to the ground venison mix you can request when you bring in a deer for processing. The butcher there said most folks bringing in wild hog (we have lots) want some added too.

                A local grocery store butcher told me how to do it myself when I asked about it and i bought a large 20lb fresh ham. I got varying responses when I asked about trimmed out leaf fat or fat trimmed off of roasts and legs.
                Most guys said it was part of their discard but that seems dubious - are they taking it home?

                Is there a shadow market in clandestine pork lard ? I'm learning that most people under 50 - even here in the south - have never tasted anything made with lard.

                I'm thinking a pie w/lard crust for the head butcher @ my local Piggly Wiggly might help me score some under-the-table pork fat.

                so pie crust is next. Any tips??

                1. re: kariin

                  I am in southeast North Carolina. We hunt and process our own deer. Most of the supermarket chains around here stopped selling or giving away their beef or pork over the past two years. Some, like Food Lion, no longer do much butchering in-house, other local chains like Bo's and Hill's just have decided it is not worth the trouble so they made it "against store policy" to sell it. Some Piggly Wiggly stores will sell it, if you ask the butcher.

                  I found a local butcher that we can order both pork and beef fat from. (We use beef fat for ground venison and pork fat for venison sausages.)

                  A friend of mine makes the most delicious pie crusts and she uses lard, which she renders herself. She does not mix with butter, just straight lard.

              2. re: kariin

                Works great in a pie crust, tart shells and even in some cookies like ginger snaps and Italian lemon cookies.