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claire797

Using Lard in Pastry

179 posts in this topic

If there is a Vallarta Supermercado near you, go to the meat department and in the case where you see packaged bacon, smoked ham hocks and etc., you will find packages of fresh lard. It is far superior to the stuff in the boxes (or larger buckets) and is reasonably priced (89 cents a pound on the package I just bought).

You can render your own but it can be tricky to get it so it is not granular. You have to chill it rapidly while stirring with a whisk to get the very fine texture which is desirable for use in baking.

I place a large stainless bowl in an ice bath and have someone helping me gradually pour the melted lard into the bowl while I whisk it. I wear protective gloves and an apron because it will pop a bit as moisture condenses on the interior of the bowl.

You have to ask for leaf lard for rendering your own. It is superior to the regular fat.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Isn't lard the same as Suet, just not shredded?

You can buy lard, and shredded suet in packets in any supermarket in the UK.

Lots of uses, and some things, like suet crust or steamed puddings or lardy cakes would not be the same without it...

Suet is rendered beef or mutton fat. Lard is rendered pork fat. I guess the fat could be shredded before melting, though it's usually chopped or ground.

In North America, most of the lard sold in supermarkets is partially hydrogenated and adulterated with preservatives. While hydrogentation keeps the lard solid at room temperatures, it also creates trans fats (bad). Artisanal lard is pure unhydrongenated rendered pork fat.

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Lard is traditionally used in bizchochitios; the New Mexican State cookie: recipe and background. ( a great cookie flavored with anise and rolled in cinnamon sugar).


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I think it might be too much work for me to render my own. Don't know if there is a Vallarta market around, will have to search (I'm near Pasadena), but 99 cents a pound sounds very reasonable.

Being Chinese, I should know how to render my own fat (no pun intended), but I am lazy.

So many Asian pastries call for lard. They taste much better with it.


"Mom, why can't you cook like the iron chef?"

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I use the stuff from the box cause I don't know where to get the good stuff locally. I normally use it in a 1:4 ratio with butter in pie crusts and that works pretty well. One of these days I'll have to find the good stuff and make those Chinese pastries like wife cakes that I grew up eating. The best almond cookies are made with lard.

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You can mail order leaf lard from D'Angelo Bros. . Although the website doesn't mention fat, according to Saveur Magazine, it is available from them for $2.49 per pound with a 2 lb minimum order.

You can also buy it from Dietrich's Meats....a one lb tub is $1.00. Their number is 610-756-6344.

I can attest to the superiority of leaf lard.....now I will use nothing else in my pie dough....besides butter of course! :smile:

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You can mail order leaf lard from D'Angelo Bros. . Although the website doesn't mention fat, according to Saveur Magazine, it is available from them for $2.49 per pound with a 2 lb minimum order.

You can also buy it from Dietrich's Meats....a one lb tub is $1.00. Their number is 610-756-6344.

I can attest to the superiority of leaf lard.....now I will use nothing else in my pie dough....besides butter of course! :smile:

Thanks. Is shipping very high? Does leaf lard have to be refrigerated?

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The main advantage of rendering your own is you get lovely cracklings afterwards. I always done it on the stovetop but I hear that you can put it in a low oven with 1 inch of water and it will render without intervention after a few hours.


PS: I am a guy.

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Since recipeGullet isn't up yet (It's coming, promise.) I will copy the lard methods here:

Rendering your own lard produces a wonderful product that is not "bad" for you. It is not the same thing at all as that brick of nasty white stuff you see on the grocery shelf. That stuff is hydrogenated, contains a lot of trans fats, and tastes like plastic to me. Fresh lard is a different product altogether. You have to refrigerate it or you can freeze it. It keeps forever that way. Do put it in a glass jar, though, as it can pick up other flavors from the refrigerator or freezer. I keep mine in the refrigerator because it is easier to dip out. I have used the top of the stove method for chicken and duck fat.

2—5 lb White pork fat (ask your butcher)

Chill the fat in the freezer to make it easier to cut. Cut into 1/2 to 1/4 inch cubes. I lean toward the smaller size but it isn't critical. The quantities given above do not matter. I just make whatever I am willing to cut up. For either method use a very heavy pot. I like to use my Le Creuset French oven because the light colored interior makes it easier to see the color develop.

Top of the stove method:

Put 1/2 to 3/4 inch of water in the pot and add the cubed fat. Do not cover. Start on medium to medium low heat. The water will cook off and gets the fat melting a little faster. Stir occasionally throughout the process. Before the bits of fat start to brown, dip off the clear fat. This is a light and mild lard that is good for baking where you don't want pork flavor. Continue to cook until the cubes start to brown. You want to go slow so that the cubes toast evenly. Pour off the amber liquid. This is the product that you want for savory cooking. Don't throw away the bottom dregs of lard and all of the brown bits. This is "asiento". It is used as a savory spread on corn tortillas or bread. This method takes quite a while but doesn't require a lot of attention. Just go slow at first if you want the light stuff for baking. You end up with three products.

Oven method:

This one is really easy. Just put the fat in the pot with the lid on to start and put it in the oven at about 300F or a little lower. Stir occasionally. When it starts to render, take the lid off. Pour off the lard and save the asiento. Again, you want to go kind of slow here so that the cubes toast and don't burn.

For either method, strain out the cracklin's to eat as a guilty treat, add to corn bread, or use as a sprinkle on salads.

The picture shows the three products, white lard, tan lard, asiento, and of course the cracklin's. (Maybe that is four.)

gallery_7796_409_7767.jpg


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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Thanks. Is shipping very high? Does leaf lard have to be refrigerated?

I don't think you HAVE to refrigerate leaf lard, but it will last a lot longer if you do. Besides

I prefer it to be cold for most of the applications I use it in anyway.

Shipping prices are usually determined by weight. The more you order at once, the higher

your shipping price will be. Then of course there's the type of shipping the establishment

chooses, and how much they choose to charge you for "handling".

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If there is a Vallarta Supermercado near you, go to the meat department

Hi Andie, are you still there? Where is your Vallarta market? I could not find one around here. I will ask my nurses since they know all the Mexican markets.


"Mom, why can't you cook like the iron chef?"

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Since recipeGullet isn't up yet (It's coming, promise.) I will copy the lard methods here:

Fifi, thanks for the recipe and instruction. The photos are excellent for giving me a clear idea about the process. (I'm sure my cracklins aren't gonna make it into any dish. :laugh: )


Edited by emmapeel (log)

Emma Peel

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I don't think you HAVE to refrigerate leaf lard, but it will last a lot longer if you do. Besides

I prefer it to be cold for most of the applications I use it in anyway.

Shipping prices are usually determined by weight. The more you order at once, the higher

your shipping price will be. Then of course there's the type of shipping the establishment

chooses, and how much they choose to charge you for "handling".

I was talking about the lard being refrigerated during shipping, which would make shipping expenses much higher. Packing the fat with dry ice might push the shipping costs over $20.

In any case, I called around and found a local butcher that still does their own slaughtering. They slaughter the hogs once a week, and they told me if I call the day before, they will reserve however much leaf lard I want and sell it to me for only 69 cents a pound!

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I've never rendered my own lard before, but I've been told that it stinks up your kitchen for days and days... and smells really horrible.

Was somebody just trying to be funny, or is that true?


Misa

Sweet Misa

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I've never noticed any particularly unpleasant smell.


PS: I am a guy.

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Isn't lard the same as Suet, just not shredded?

You can buy lard, and shredded suet in packets in any supermarket in the UK.

Lots of uses, and some things, like suet crust or steamed puddings or lardy cakes would not be the same without it...

I've often wondered what suet was as it comes up in some recipes. Now, I know it looks like lard, but why shredded? Tried to google for pictures but couldn't find any. Does shredded mean it's like flakes? :huh:


TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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I only remember my grandmother doing this...I don't think it stunk up the kitchen that much. Then again, she had an old fashioned (non open plan) kitchen so smells are less of an issue. I remember she gave me some sugar to dip the warm cracklings into. Sounds gross now, but back then I thought it was really, really good.

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If there is a Vallarta Supermercado near you, go to the meat department

Hi Andie, are you still there? Where is your Vallarta market? I could not find one around here. I will ask my nurses since they know all the Mexican markets.

Here is the store locator for Vallarta;Vallarta supermarkets

I don't know what you are near.

Gigante is another Hispanic supermarket chain. There is one in Pico Rivera and one in Anaheim, besides the ones in the Valley.

They don't have a web site with their store locations listed but you can look in your local white pages to see if they are listed in your area.

The produce at Vallarta is exceptional, the prices are amazing, compared to regular markets.

The price of lemons and limes is especially good.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Thanks for the responses about the smell (or rather, lack of smell).


Misa

Sweet Misa

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not long ago i was given a jar of the most delectable substance from Tuscany: homemade lard studded, and studded generously, with black truffles (tuscany has its very delicious truffles too, as does umbria, piedmonte, and perigord).

you didn't even have to eat the stuff, just open the jar and give a deep invigorating sniff!

but eat it i did, with the help of about a hundred colleagues: i brought it to the potluck lunch at the oxford 2004 symposium of food and drink, and plopped that jar on the table. how many minutes until it was empty, and i swear, it had been licked clean, too!

Marlena


Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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Is the lard talked about here, meat lard or lard in general? Because I'm a new baker and have found several recipes asking for vegetable shortening. Since it's not often available here in my country, I had to look for it. When I asked a baking supply store, they gave me VEGETABLE LARD and said it was the same...

It looks like a gunk of white, greasy, paste like softened butter in texture, but somehow sturdier. Also, is there supposedly a way to store it? I just placed it in an airtight tupperware and leave it on the counter with my flours and other stuff.


I am in the process of fulfilling a dream, one that involves a huge stainless kitchen, heavenly desserts and lots of happy sweet-toothed people.

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The lard discussed here is pork lard. The vegetable shortening you recieved has been hydrogenated to stay in a solid state.

The recipes you have sound like they call for the vegetable shortening. I am unfamiliar with what you were given. What you describe does sound like what Crisco vegetable shortening looks like. You can store it at room temp. or in the fridge.

I hope this helps. Where are you located?


-Becca

www.porterhouse.typepad.com

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I would love to know what is a shortening agent.  Would duck fat do the same thing as lard in savory pastry?

in terms of it's shortening behavior ie how flakey your pastry came out, it would probably be similar though maybe not quite as perfectly flakey. However, pork fat tends to have very little flavor left & is thus usable in sweet applications, while duck fat retains IMO much more of the original duck flavor, so you'd want to A) choose even your savory applications carefully for their duck compatibility :laugh:, and B) test it before serving to others.


Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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