KAW...rendering lard..why I love old skillets..

trailrunnerbikerNovember 24, 2012

and granite ware. My Mom and Grandmother had the best skillets and baking pans. The granite is old Lusk . It has roasted a lot of meats and rendered a lot of lard. Mom got it as a wedding present in 1940. The iron skillets were her Mom's . I am lucky to have them. I got the fat in VA from DS1's butcher.

Diced it up and placed it in the pots and then in a 225 degree oven with a cup of water in the bottom of each pot. So far they are progressing very well. Contrary to info on the net there is no piggy smell !! I think it has to do with the organic pork and the great Miele ovens, they are sealed really well.

WIll post more pics as we progress. DH is helping..he is the stirrer and is also making me lunch. As an aside...Awesome grease cutter from Walmart is ...awesome !! A couple sprays and my hands feel wonderful. Guess I just got a skin treatment too. :) c

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Nice! Best pie crust in the world, anyone? It also works well in the crock pot.

Love home rendered lard...

Have you ever tried beef tallow?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 2:20PM
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deedles...nope that is next when I get back up there. The butcher is an old fashioned one and has more lard and tallow than I could want. I will try the calf fat next Spring. it is great for frying potato chips and french fries !!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 2:50PM
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Kinda turns your kitchen into a candle factory. Wow, that stuff is waxy! It has more odiferous qualities than the lard. Maybe a crock pot would be the way to go with tallow...

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 4:19PM
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Here are the final pics..except the clean up :)

another version of light/shadow:

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 4:45PM
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Trail - I am going to show this thread to my dad! He will love the pictures and then the stories will begin. He is 91 and loves to talk about his childhood. He has shared a few stories from the dust bowl days after watching the documentary by Ken Burns. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 5:01PM
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I am reading with interest (and definitely planning a road trip to your DS's restaurant one of these months!!)... but need to ask, for what do you use this lard?!!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 5:32PM
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motherof3...my Dad was a butcher in OH before I was born in 1950,,so mostly in the 30's to mid 40's. He was also a farmer of his Dad's property and his own. My Dad was born in 1910 and passed away in 2002. We lived on a farm near Findlay OH till I was 13 then we moved to New Orleans. My Dad's dad was a hog farmer there in OH. He raised Poland China hogs. My dad had lots of stories about the butchering and rendering the lard and my grandmother using the lard for baking and frying. Give your Dad a hug..I sure miss mine and his stories.

I grew up eating lard pie crust and lard cookies. It is a much more healthy way to eat than most people think. There is a lot of info out there now that supports the diet of real food .

Old bat _ I sure hope you will get to the Red Hen. My son just butchered a hog while we were up there. His specialty is charcuterie. He was smoking and rolling and stuffing and curing up a storm.

Here is a link. Anything that you would use butter or shortening for in the way of frying and baking. You can still get good unhydrogenated lard in Canada made by Tenderflake. I will get some from my DIL's parents when they next come in to the US.

Hope you enjoy !!

Here is a link that might be useful: NYT lard recipes

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 5:50PM
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Trailrunner, thanks for sharing! Wow!

My parents (who would be 90 if they were alive) used to tell me about men who ate lard sandwiches to get through gruelling factory and railroad work during Depression. If you were lucky, you had actual meat. If not, you had lard between bread.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:27PM
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trailrunner... I have and continue to learn so much from you. Both my parents were NY city kids till my Mom moved upstate at 17. I had never heard of much of this way of life/eating. The closest story my Daddy ever told was of eating schmaltz sandwiches because they were so poor.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 7:57PM
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I wish I had more stories recorded. They come back to me when I think about it. I gave DS1 my Dad's butcher knives and one apron. I have his steel. Will let that go when I go :) Dad called the one knife his " hard" knife. DS1 loves that knife. He knew my Dad well ...DS grew up with his grandpa fussing at him and when DS was in the Marines and cooking Dad didn't really share much with DS...unfortunately now DS sure wishes that he had known he was going to be a chef and that his grandpa really was an interesting person inside that hard old shell he erected.

My Dad told about the Depression. Workers would walk past their farm every day in Deshler OH. My grandfather would hire as many as he could for $1 a day and all the food they could eat. My grandmother was a wonderful cook in those days. She made angel food cakes every single day to get rid of the egg whites and ice cream so they could use the yolks. They ate ice cream 3x a day to get rd of it. They had ice stored in the barns packed in hay to insulate it. It lasted all the way to July 4th. They chipped it off and hand churned the ice cream. I wasn't born till 1950 ...my granddad passed 2 months before I was born. My grandmother never cooked particularly well by the time I can remember. My Mom's Mom was a great cook too but passed at 83 in 1958 so I only remember a little of her cooking as she was in FL most of the time with my Aunt and Uncle.

Hmmm way more than you probably want to know. I did go back to the "home place" 2 yrs ago. I took Momma and Daddy's ashes and interred them in the plots they had bought in the 50's. I revisited a lot of places. The old farm was long gone where my Dad grew up but I did meet some cousins that I had never met. My Mom's old home..which looks like our current home :) was still standing. My old home was still there too but vacant. I visited the mausoleum and saw old graves. Probably will never go back again. It was sad but necessary.

OK...will stop now. Thank you for putting up with my memories !! c

Here is a link that might be useful: slideshow lard

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 8:22PM
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For the other side of the coin my Mom often recalls what she refers to as the disgusting smell of my Grandmother rendering her own lard. My Grandmother had boarders and needed to stretch a buck. Her pies were divine but my mother still isn't sure it was worth it. Cool to see but not something I will try (store bought will do).

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 9:54PM
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Ah, but caryscott, you are Canadian, aren't you? We can still easily buy Tenderflake pure lard in most supermarkets, while the common product stateside has been hydrogenated. I grew up with lard pastry - never heard of anyone using butter for pie crusts until I joined GW. As a city kid, I would never be able to source pork fat to make my own. Mind you, I have lately been rendering poultry fat into schmaltz - just small quantities for cornbread and pan frying potatoes.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:27PM
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cary, there wasn't any bad odor at all. I think it was the condition of the pig, organically raised lots of acorns ! And the location of the fat on the body and the fact that the pig was just butchered that day !! And you are lucky to get the Tenderflake :)

cooksnews..there are still butchers in big cities that sell lard. In fact it is something that is coming back in fashion, my son is not the only chef doing his own butchering. If you ask around I bet you can find some fresh pigs ! c

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 12:10AM
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trailrunner - my grandpa was a butcher back during the depression time. He told stories of working at a slaughter house. He died at about 96 in the mid-late 70's.

I remember using lard for baking when I was growing up.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 12:38AM
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Always love to see what you're up to! That NYT article was interesting. DH's mom and one of my aunts both made the best pie crust and both used lard. Thin, flaky, light, and delicious.

And thank you for sharing your personal memories. My mom was born in '31 and still remembers how grandma stretched the food to feed their family of 8. Mom's the youngest and tells lots of stories about how the kids would find odd jobs in the neighborhood to earn money to go to the show. I really need to start writing all of these down!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 1:52AM
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desertsteph..that is wonderful that you knew him and the stories. We had a slaughterhouse at the edge of town in Deshler. When I was very small...about 5 or so I rode my bike all the way in to town ( who knew that decades later I will be riding my bike "into towns"...there was a horrible mean dog tied up outside the slaughterhouse near the road. It ran to the end of the chain and barked and snarled at me. I was terrified and rode away crying and shaking. Forever after known as the "slaughterhouse dog !! ".

flowers yes I didn't write down anything. I assumed I would remember..sigh. Mom was the youngest of 5 kids. She and her Mom lived together for a number of years after her Dad was gone and before she married my Dad. She told of only getting an orange for Christmas during the Depression.They also had hot milk toast for dinner many nights. You toast the bread in the oven and put a small amount of lard or butter if you have any on it ...sprinkle with cinnamon -sugar and pour over hot milk. To this day I love it !! We begged for it when we were kids. She said her Mom would keep it warm on the back of the stove till she got home from work. Mom was a telephone operator in Toledo OH. This was late 30's. c

Yes there is nothing like a lard crust . My grandmother always said a good cookie should grease its own pan...she used lard for her oatmeal raisin cookies..they melted in your mouth .

Nice to share stories. Thank you . c

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 8:41AM
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I found it really interesting that it didn't smell because my Mom said she had to get out of the house the odor was so strong and unpleasant (probably a memory somewhat embellished by time as well). I didn't know pure lard was hard to come by in the US - it is very common here (I have some in my freezer now). Until a recent switch to a Test Kitchen recipe the only luck I ever had with flaky pie crust was using lard. Test Kitchen recipe uses vodka which creates a wetter pastry that is easier to work with.I think butter pastry has a nicer flavour than a lard one for sweet pies.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 9:07AM
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You only get a smell from rendering if the lard is stale, or if it's not cleaned of all scraps of meat. Also, adding already cooked pork fat (scraps from roasts or chops) into the rendering increases the odor.

We used to render bear fat, to be used as lard, and it had no odor I remember

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 9:16AM
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I grew up using lard in baking, and still use it to this day for pastry and frying etc. Can't beat it. A favorite treat for supper was pork dripping on bread that had been toasted over the open fire in our English equivalent of a family room, and I still go to the butcher's to pick up some dripping with jelly (the solidified meat juices) whenever I go home. Yes, it is cheap, but oh so tasty!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 2:29PM
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cary I keep meaning to try the vodka crust but we don't drink it and I never have any in the house. I use buttermilk for the acid and it works as well as adding a nice tang .

Lazy I think you are right. The odor was quite minimal yesterday and not awful in any way. I think freshness is the key.

love drippings from a pork roast too akrogirl. Sounds yum with the toasted bread !

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 2:36PM
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I've never had a lard sandwich, but I have very fond memories of something called "dripping cake" when I lived in Sheffield, England. The bread cakes were similar to a large hamburger bun, but much denser and more bread-y. At sandwich shops they would spread the split bread cake with fat from a pork or beef roast. If you were lucky, there would be rich meat juice in the fat. A sprinkle of salt and it was the most delicious, inexpensive lunch ever. It might have been a regional dish as a friend who lived in London had never heard of it.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 4:35PM
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Yum.. All these posts are making me hungry! Caryscot... I just posted a link to the vodka pie crust recipe on the Thanksgiving thread for Oldbat2be.

Anyone interested can call a butcher shop and ask them to save you the leaf fat. I understand that's the best to use for rendering.

Good lard from well raised hogs is sooo much better than all this vegetable oil. I've read where canola and corn oil and such go rancid AS you are digesting (or trying to anyway) them. That is if they aren't already rancid by the time you use them. They are polyunsaturated and very unstable. Lard, coconut oil, tallow, palm shortening... very stable, long shelf life and full of nutrients. The veil is starting to be pulled back on the processed food industry and it's 'phude' products. Long overdue, IMO. Glad to see all the real food people on GW!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 6:55PM
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I believe lard is used in Pillsbury pie crusts. I buy a good quality lard online from a farm in Minnesota. Once I did some reading, I decided to never use Crisco again. The sugar cookies I make using a combination of butter and lard always receive rave reviews.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 11:00PM
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My family always rendered lard when I was a child - I remember how tasty the "cracklins" were.

Caroline, you must fry chicken in the lard - it is the best! And if there is one thing we know how to do in Kentucky, it is how to fry chicken!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 12:45AM
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Caroline - Thanks for the memories!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 6:26AM
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linelle...that does sound good !!

deedles you are so right...real is better !!

lolon..yes there was a discussion about that on the cooking forum. I have used those crusts in a pinch :) What website do you use for your online store ? Thanks for the info . ! We make a wonderful Chinese Almond cookie and it uses lard and has a large almond in the center of each. You don't see them much anymore. They just melt in your mouth they are so good.

tuesday: I will do it and post pics for you ...I used to do it all the time but stopped when I no longer had good lard. I am in AL...we fry good chicken too LOL ! :)

java...you are most welcome . c

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 7:20AM
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Trail, it's Prairie Pride Farm of Minnesota, www.prairiepridepork.com.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 5:22PM
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Thank you !! c

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 5:30PM
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