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Rendering Lard


derricks
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I was reading through Peacock/Lewis' The Gift... and started to wonder about his "3 day purification process." I thought I'd question y'all to find out if anyone has a preferred or specific method for the process.

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I use Fifi's process, which works beautifully. Another trick I picked up from david thomspson is to add a point of garlic "the size that sits on the end of a knife" towards the end of the rendering process.

If you do a search for "lard" using the search function and selecting titles only, there is a lot of info to be found.

What is the "three day purification" process?

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quick question-

if you use lard to deep fry something, say chicken, can the fat be strained and reused? or is it dead/will go bad after one use?

You can certainly do this, but it is a personal choice. Fats actually deep fry best after they have been broken down a bit. For this reason, most restauarants add some old oil to the fresh batch of new oil. With each use they will breakdown a bit more and the smoke point will be lowered, and eventually they will have to be thrown out. Also, when broken down they accumulate more potentially harmful compounds through interactions of the hot fat with oxygen in the air. You can minimize this by using a "tall, narrow pan and so reducing the area of contact between fat and the atmosphere" (Mcgee 803). Animal fats are actually better in this respect, as they usually contain more saturated fats which are more resistant to this than unsaturated fats. If you are particularly concerned about this you may want to start with fresh fat each time. Personally I reuse my fats and oils a few times before throwing them away.

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  • 1 year later...

I am getting a side of pork next month and am getting the pork fat also. I would like to render this. I am looking for advice as to how and where (inside? outside?) to do this. How long will it take to render?

I would also like to cook and bake with it. Any suggestions? If anyone has a recipe for pie dough using home-rendered lard I would appreciate receiving a copy. I'm not looking for a recipe using store-bought lard.

Thank you.

Elsie

Thanks SeanDirty. I have edited the post.

Edited by ElsieD (log)
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One of the tips from Cooking of SW France by Paula Wolfert that I have found particularly useful when rendering fat is to grind it in the food processer with some water before rendering. I think it renders more easily and smoothly. Of course, it looks absolutely disgusting in the food processor.

And Rose Levy Berenbaum's Pie & Pastry Bible has a nice flaky lard crust that is my staple lard crust, although I use all-lard for savory pie dough and half-lard half-butter for sweet pies.

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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well you said you are getting lard... well lard is the term used for pre-rendered pork fat.. So if your getting Lard you got no work to do...

But this is what you would do, cut out as much of the white fat off of the pork as you can, if you have a little meat its ok.

Place all your fat into a pot and place on low heat, it doesn't have to be super super low but low. Just let it go until when you pull out whatever protein is left its super crispy and it looks like no more fat is going to come out of it.

Once you start with the pot you will see, its pretty strait forward after you got the heat going on it.

After the last step, strain and store in a container, you can either put it in the fridge or technically you can leave it outside... but I'd refrigerate it. It will soon setup into the white oily lard we all know and love.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Of course, it looks absolutely disgusting in the food processor.

I'm actually in the middle of this process as I write this, and I have to disagree. In fact, it looks so much like strawberry-flavored whipped cream that I had to seriously resist the urge to lick my fingers. Fortunately, it smells like pork, which will help you catch yourself. Trust me on this...

Here is a shot of the blade off the food processor:

gallery_56799_5407_6806.jpg

And the stuff after five minutes in the oven (unfortunately I forgot to take a picture going in, so this doesn't quite do it justice, getting all melty along the edges...):

gallery_56799_5407_37644.jpg

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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The Thomas Keller Sous Vide book has a method of rendering fat using sous vide that postively keeps the fat from over heating or browning. I'll be trying it with beef fat tonight.

Pretty basic:

Grind, vac pack and heat in water bath. Strain and cool. (Sorry I don't have the book with me so the specifics are missing)

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The Thomas Keller Sous Vide book has a method of rendering fat using sous vide that postively keeps the fat from over heating or browning.  I'll be trying it with beef fat tonight.

Pretty basic:

Grind, vac pack and heat in water bath.  Strain and cool. (Sorry I don't have the book with me so the specifics are missing)

Interesting: I did not notice that recipe in there. 1 1/2 hours at 85ºC (185ºF). Interestingly, he notes that:

When fat is rendered on the stovetop, any water evaporates in the cooking process. Here it remains in the bag and so must be separated from the fat.

This never really occurred to me: there is actually water in the chunks of fat that must be removed. I was thinking that the only water was coming from adding it to aid in the rendering, but apparently that is not the case.

Be sure to let us know how it goes.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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But with the sous vide method you wouldn't end up with all the little crackling bits - and to me that's one of the things that makes rendering your own lard worth the effort.

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But with the sous vide method you wouldn't end up with all the little crackling bits - and to me that's one of the things that makes rendering your own lard worth the effort.

Fire 'em in the pan afterwards. MMMMMMM

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Just to draw attention to the fact that Keller is 'grinding' the fat, not cubing it, not blitzing it.

I'd thought that 'grinding' (UK mincing) the fat before rendering made the process comparatively quick and simple... whether or not you are rendering it in a bag.

I do hope Chris Hennes is going to give a considered final verdict on the blitz-it method!

My expectation would have been that any "meaty bits" would have been more awkward to extract if they had been blitzed to seriously tiny fragments. And they still need to be extracted, don't they?

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Rendering by Sous vide:

Ground beef fat. This was brisket trim so there was quite a bit of meat in it.

HalibutConfitandRenderedBeefFat009.jpg

Fat vac packed.

HalibutConfitandRenderedBeefFat011.jpg

In the immersion circulator for 1.5 hours at 85 degrees Celsius.

HalibutConfitandRenderedBeefFat012.jpg

The liquified and strained fat. Note the layer of liquid at the bottom. This liquid would normally evaporate in the stove top or oven method.

HalibutConfitandRenderedBeefFat013.jpg

Here is the refigerated, solidified beef fat with the liquid now a layer of easily removed gel at the bottom. The gel is frozen for adding to beef or game sauces that might need a little more mouth feel. The fat was quite beefy in flavor, due to the higher amount of meat than I would usually use but since this batch will be used to confit moose shank meat, the flavor will be a complement. The leftover meat/fat/sinew can be browned and used to create a quick stock (mine was fed to a very appreciative Labrador).

HalibutConfitandRenderedBeefFat016.jpg

I think if I used this method with pork fat I would dice it instead of grind it so that I would have some wonderful little nuggets to crisp up and salt as a snack afterward.

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I do hope Chris Hennes is going to give a considered final verdict on the blitz-it method!

My expectation would have been that any "meaty bits" would have been more awkward to extract if they had been blitzed to seriously tiny fragments. And they still need to be extracted, don't they?

After a couple hours in the oven I was confident that I had rendered as much fat as I was going to get, so I strained the solids out. The resulting pile of leftover goo was downright nasty-looking: I had no desire to attempt to create some kind of "cracklin-pancake" out of it, so I just discarded it. The rendered fat was absolutely beautiful, snow white, soft and creamy out of the fridge. It made some wicked-good tamales.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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  • 6 months later...
No, not even close, unfortunately (at least in my experience). I didn't weigh mine, but you will lose both water and whatever connective stuff is in there: I would guess it is closer to a 50% conversion rate. Anyone actually check?

I did some browsing, and this site says back fat gives about 80% of its weight in lard. It's not as much as what I thought, but it's more than 50%--does 80% seem too high in your experience, even if guessing?

I might be reading it incorrectly, though. It actually says:

The sheet of fat just inside the ribs makes the best quality, snowy-white lard. This “leaf” fat renders most easily, too -- and is ninety percent fat. The “back” fat, a thick layer just under the skin, is almost as good, giving about eighty percent of its weight in lard.

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80% seems high considering the amount of "goo" I had leftover, which I was figuring at around 25% on its own, not counting the water that evaporated out. 50% may have been overly pessimistic: I will weigh it next time and see. That would actually be an interesting point of comparison between the various methods.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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The only downside--my husband complained about the scent for days, even though I had the windows open.  I thought it smelled good!

I render buffalo tallow to use in soapmaking--do it in the oven in a roaster--and that really smells up the house--smells like a giant greasy rib roast is being cooked to death in your oven--my husband TRULY hates this!

Zoe

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