Details about how to render the perfect lard at home mostly for healthy consideration.
We have just celebrated our Winter Solstice more than one week ago. It is an important traditional Chinese holiday because it is the starting pointing for the preparation of the stuff for Spring Festival, we call 年货 in Chinese. For example my grandmother began to make Chinese bacon and sausage even she is over 75 years old now. She still insisted to make all those New Year stuff for the whole family.
Lard has a long history in China. Back to 15 years ago, we never heard of peanut oil, olive oil or sunflower seed oil. What we have is lard, beef tallow and rapeseed oil. Among those three, lard is the most popular and the main oil consumed by common Chinese family. We make lard after Winter Solstice with a large amount once time so it would be enough for the following half year. Lard is demonized for many years in China. Honestly I cannot understand why because it is a great source of vitamin D，Vitamin A and monounsaturated fat. And traditional Chinese medicine also shows lots of benefits of lard like preventing constipation.
Rendering lard at home is not quite easy. Lard is super great for stir-fries or stews, even in pastries. There are mainly two kinds of pork fat usually used for rendering lard: one is called leaf fat “板油” in Chinese while the other kind is called as common back fat between the grind and lean “肥油” in Chinese. You can use both parts. However if you want to use the lard in pasties, leaf fat will be recommended.
Cut the leaf fat into small pieces and then add water.
Bring to a boiling.
Simmer for around 30 minutes to 40 minutes.
Until the oil is completely melt.
Remove the cracklings.
Set aside to cool completely and then store in freezer or fridge.
- 1000 g pork fat
- 1 cup water
Cut off the grind and then the fat into small pieces. Transfer to a pot or deep pan or slow cooker. It is just your decision. Add water.
Bring all the content to a boiling and then slow down the fire to low heat.
Stir from time to time during the process until the fat is completely melted. See note 1 here.
Filter the cracklings out and you just get perfect lard.
Set aside to cool or put into fridge.
Note1: If you want the lard to be more suitable for deep-frying, stir-frying or many traditional Chinese recipes, you can continue heating while the cracklings becomes slightly brown like me. For pastry usage, stop as long as the oil is separated, otherwise, the color might be influenced slightly.
Do not forget the cracklings. You can return them back and add some salt or it can be stir-fried with cabbages or carrots.