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claire797

Using Lard in Pastry

179 posts in this topic

I believe Mc Donnalds used to use pure lard for their fries.

I always thought they used to use beef tallow.

What's the differene between beef tallow and lard? Is lard from a pig and beef tallow expressly from cows?

Yes. Lard is pig fat and tallow is cow or sheep fat.

From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Main Entry: lard

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin lardum, laridum; perhaps akin to Greek larinos fat

Date: 14th century

: a soft white solid or semisolid fat obtained by rendering fatty tissue of the hog

Main Entry: tallow

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English talgh, talow; akin to Middle Dutch talch tallow

Date: 14th century

: the white nearly tasteless solid rendered fat of cattle and sheep used chiefly in soap, candles, and lubricants

I don't know if I totally agree with the tallow definition, though.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Xanthippe, I'm happy to hear you could really taste the difference in the lard fries.  My plan is to try the fries on Friday night, so I'll report back.

Really, I still dream about those lard fries. They were served alongside a pork tenderloin sandwich unlike any I've ever had; the meat, roughly the size of a Frisbee, dwarfed the bun!! It was really quite something.

My favorite Iowa story involves a vegetarian brother-in-law who ordered a "Vegetable Burger" at the very same restaurant. He was served a hamburger with tomato, lettuce, and onion. Hey, they're vegetables, right??!? :biggrin::biggrin:

You gotta love Iowa . . .

Claire, I'm making the lard gingersnaps this afternoon.

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I believe Mc Donnalds used to use pure lard for their fries.

I always thought they used to use beef tallow.

What's the differene between beef tallow and lard? Is lard from a pig and beef tallow expressly from cows?

Yes. Lard is pig fat and tallow is cow or sheep fat.

From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Main Entry: lard

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin lardum, laridum; perhaps akin to Greek larinos fat

Date: 14th century

: a soft white solid or semisolid fat obtained by rendering fatty tissue of the hog

Main Entry: tallow

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English talgh, talow; akin to Middle Dutch talch tallow

Date: 14th century

: the white nearly tasteless solid rendered fat of cattle and sheep used chiefly in soap, candles, and lubricants

I don't know if I totally agree with the tallow definition, though.

Which part do you not agree with? That it is tasteless?

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Really, I still dream about those lard fries.

COOOOoooooool.

BTW. When you're making the lardsnaps, you may want to cut the cayenne a bit.

Here's a picture of one of mine. Made a batch this morning.

lardsnap.jpg (not such a great picture, sorry)


Edited by claire797 (log)

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From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Main Entry: tallow

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English talgh, talow; akin to Middle Dutch talch tallow

Date: 14th century

: the white nearly tasteless solid rendered fat of cattle and sheep used chiefly in soap, candles, and lubricants

I don't know if I totally agree with the tallow definition, though.

Which part do you not agree with? That it is tasteless?

Well, yes. Both that it is tasteless and the implication that it is best used in industrial applications... although I suppose that may be the case. On the other hand, maybe "tallow" only refers to "industrial beef fat." I certainly would not characterize the golden elixir pooled at one end of a Peter Luger platter as "tasteless." I wonder why people don't cook with beef fat the way they cook with lard?

Anyway, this is a definition of tallow I liked better (from here):

tallow

\Tal"low\, n. [OE. taluh, talugh; akin to OD. talgh, D. talk, G., Dan. and Sw. talg, Icel. t[=o]lgr, t[=o]lg, t[=o]lk; and perhaps to Goth. tulgus firm.] 1. The suet or fat of animals of the sheep and ox kinds, separated from membranous and fibrous matter by melting.

Note: The solid consistency of tallow is due to the large amount of stearin it contains


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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My favorite Iowa story involves a vegetarian brother-in-law who ordered a "Vegetable Burger" at the very same restaurant.  He was served a hamburger with tomato, lettuce, and onion.  Hey, they're vegetables, right??!?  :biggrin:  :biggrin:

That is so funny!

Lardsnaps! :laugh:

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COOOOoooooool.

BTW.  When you're making the lardsnaps, you may want to cut the cayenne a bit. 

Here's a picture of one of mine.  Made a batch this morning.

lardsnap.jpg (not such a great picture, sorry)

Oops! The finished dough, containing the full amount of cayenne, has been chilling in the fridge for a couple hours now. I was just about to bake the cookies.

Guess they'll be really "snappy" lardsnaps! :biggrin:

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My favorite Iowa story involves a vegetarian brother-in-law who ordered a "Vegetable Burger" at the very same restaurant.  He was served a hamburger with tomato, lettuce, and onion.  Hey, they're vegetables, right??!?  :biggrin:  :biggrin:

That is so funny!

Funny and true!! Quintessential Iowa . . .

Lardsnaps! :laugh:

Isn't that great? I think claire should change the name of the recipe to "Laudable Lardsnaps"!


Edited by Xanthippe (log)

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Really, I still dream about those lard fries. They were served alongside a pork tenderloin sandwich unlike any I've ever had; the meat, roughly the size of a Frisbee, dwarfed the bun!! It was really quite something.

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Heck of a game going on right now.  Hey, ducks are food.

Oregon Ducks??

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ppffftttt. anaheim. but it's over now and the devils -- devil food cakes, yeah, that's it -- won.

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Lard is quite possibly the most fabulous fat on the planet. But you either have to make it yourself or get it from a well trusted butcher. I make my own. I also like to use the method recommended by Zarela Martinez. That way you get this wonderful stuff from the bottom of the pan that includes some browny bits. You save that to spread on tortillas or dollop on just about anything else. I am not a baker but I imagine that if you are careful to trim out the whitest fat and render slowly, you won't get much "lard" flavor. That comes from the connective tissue that makes those browny bits.

There is one very important word regarding "store bought" lard...

HYDROGENATED

That is what makes it stable on the shelf and more solid at room temperature. It also makes those nasty trans fatty acids.

BAD BAD BAD

Fresh lard...

GOOD GOOD GOOD


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Lard is quite possibly the most fabulous fat on the planet. But you either have to make it yourself or get it from a well trusted butcher. I make my own. I also like to use the method recommended by Zarela Martinez. That way you get this wonderful stuff from the bottom of the pan that includes some browny bits. You save that to spread on tortillas or dollop on just about anything else. I am not a baker but I imagine that if you are careful to trim out the whitest fat and render slowly, you won't get much "lard" flavor. That comes from the connective tissue that makes those browny bits.

There is one very important word regarding "store bought" lard...

HYDROGENATED

That is what makes it stable on the shelf and more solid at room temperature. It also makes those nasty trans fatty acids.

BAD BAD BAD

Fresh lard...

GOOD GOOD GOOD

Yep, I either render my own lard or purchase it from a trusted butcher at a local Hispanic mercado. Fifi's so right about the reason store-bought lard is bad, bad, bad. I've never tried the Zarela Martinez method; I use the one recommended by Rick Bayless. How does Zarela say to do it?

NOW, following is my report on Claire's Laudable Lardsnaps:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I thought my recipe for ginger molasses cookies was good. Hah!! These are absolutely, far-and-away superior. I used the full amount of cayenne, which wasn't a problem at all; and the texture was indeed sublime. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe, claire.

Now I'm envisioning "grown up" ice cream sandwiches: homemade lemon ice cream between two lardsnaps. What do you all think??

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Xanthippe,

I am so happy that you liked the gingersnap recipe!! Glad the suggested amount of cayenne worked out for you.

Another thing I do with those gingersnaps is dab the tops in crystallized sugar before baking. I forgot to mention this.

BTW, tonight is lard fry night. I'll report back.

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The Bayless method that I am looking at calls for putting the cubes of fat in the oven. That is also the method Diana Kennedy uses. I do that sometimes when I am in a hurry.

Now that I think about it, I am not sure this method came from Zarela. I think it did but I just can't find it in the books I have handy right now. Anyway... You use a heavy pot on the top of the stove on medium heat (or lower), adding a little water to the bottom of the pot to get it started. You want to go slowly here and it will seem to take forever. The water cooks off. You dip or pour off some of the lard before the fat cubes get brown. This yields a very clear lard with a very mild flavor. Then you proceed to continue cooking. You can actually do this in three dippings yielding three products: the white mild stuff (probably what you want for baking), then a yellower medium flavored lard (general purpose savory cooking), then the bottom of the pot that has lots of browny bits and flavor (great for putting on a tortilla).


Edited by fifi (log)

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Would it make that much of a difference, do you think, to make the lardsnaps with lard rendered from back fat rather than leaf fat?


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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.......then the bottom of the pot that has lots of browny bits and flavor (great for putting on a tortilla).

I've never thought of spreading lard on tortillas. Interesting. I usually mix it in with the flour, masa harina, and salt before adding the water. And I'm lazy, so I melt the lard before adding instead of cutting it in.

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Yeah... You still put the lard in the flour for flour tortillas. Corn tortillas don't typically have lard. Maybe you are thinking of tamales. There you do whip lard into the masa. Then you spread on the other lard. Lard is usually spread on corn tortillas. By the way, there is a word for the lard with the browny bits but I can't think of it to save me. I have been going through my books looking for it. It is driving me NUTS! Where is Jaymes?

editted for stupidity, mixing up tortillas and tamales... hey, it's a "t" word.


Edited by fifi (log)

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Xanthippe,

I am so happy that you liked the gingersnap recipe!!  Glad the suggested amount of cayenne worked out for you. 

Another thing I do with those gingersnaps is dab the tops in crystallized sugar before baking.  I forgot to mention this.

BTW, tonight is lard fry night.  I'll report back.

You know, claire, I "automatically" dabbed the tops of the snaps in crystallized sugar; my former favorite recipe, Ginger-Molasses Crinkles, called for doing the same.

Anxious to hear the "Lard Fry Night" report!

KNorthrup, meant to tell you I'm sorry about the Duck's loss . . .

And fifi, thanks for detailing the stovetop lard method, which sounds better than rendering in the oven. More "lard variety," as it were. :wink:

This site is unbelievably, totally informative!!

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Eureka... I've got it!

ASIENTO The good stuff at the bottom of the lard pot.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Would it make that much of a difference, do you think, to make the lardsnaps with lard rendered from back fat rather than leaf fat?

Mamster, I doubt it. I'm using the grubby grocery store lard in my gingersnaps and they're still delicious.

The verdict is in on the lard fries. YUM! In a side-to-side taste test with fries cooked in Canola oil, the lard fries one for their fuller, rounded flavor.

My usual canola oil fries are good, but the lard fries had a very subtle bacony note to them -- not so much that one would think "bacon fries", but enough extra flavor to take you back to whatever divey place's fries haunt your memory.

We eat fries fairly often, so I don't think we'll be using lard on a regular basis. Maybe we'll make it a once every few months thing.

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I just HATE canola oil. I use it, but it always makes everything taste fishy to me.

Claire, you reminded me of the yummiest fries. When you have a rare/medium rare cheese burger, and the cheese has melted on the fries a little. Then you cut the burger in two and all the juice runs out, and you sop it up with the fries. Mmmmmm. I am so hungry.

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I just HATE canola oil.  I use it, but it always makes everything taste fishy to me. 

How very, very odd. I've never noticed a fishy taste. Now that you've mentioned it, I probably will.

Elyse, your "burger-juiced" fries are yet another example that fries *need* some sort of animal-fat infusion to really taste good

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The verdict is in on the lard fries.  YUM!  In a side-to-side taste test with fries cooked in Canola oil, the lard fries one for their fuller, rounded flavor.

My usual canola oil fries are good, but the lard fries had a very subtle bacony note to them -- not so much that one would think "bacon fries", but enough extra flavor to take you back to whatever divey place's fries haunt your memory. 

Let's hear it for lard fries!! Thanks for reporting back, claire. What you described as the "fuller, rounded flavor" and "subtle bacony note" is exactly how I remember the fries in Iowa. In fact, we asked if the fries had been done in bacon fat because of the slight bacon undertone; that's when we were told the restaurant used lard. So you've confirmed the whole experience for me.

And elyse is right: canola oil does impart a fishy taste to things. I use it only when absolutely necessary, and even then, reluctantly.


Edited by Xanthippe (log)

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