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View Full Version : Butt trimmings for lard?



Rita Y
08-20-2007, 11:36 AM
I have about 1 1/4 pounds of pork fat trimmings from 30 pounds boneless butt. I know this isn't the best fat to use for making lard, but I was thinking about partially freezing the trimmings and chopping them coarsely in my processor, and rendering them.

Worthwhile or not?

Rita

Rich Emkey
08-20-2007, 11:53 AM
Rita, I'll render the fat and save it in a canning jar (kept in the refrigerator). Just strain it before chilling down. I like to use it for frying buckboard bacon in.

K Kruger
08-20-2007, 04:00 PM
I'm with Rich. The flavor is a bit stronger but there are many places where that is more than appropriate.

I use water to moderate the temps during rendering and strain through cheesecloth. If you use water as well, remember to use a smaller pot in this instance as the quantity of fat you have on hand is smaller.

Rita Y
08-20-2007, 04:20 PM
Yes, I usually start rendering with some water at least until some fat has rendered. Should I use more water, for a longer period of time?

K Kruger
08-20-2007, 06:17 PM
I use 1/2 the volume of the lard in water for a large batch, about 1/3 if doing a small amount in a small pot. You don't have to use that much though. The timing depends on temps. If using water at a simmer to a low boil, temps are in the 180-205 range so the heating is pretty mellow and even. When the water is gone, or near gone, or if I'm going to bed and don't want to leave it on the stove, I just stick it in a 215-225 oven for the night and deal with it the next morning. (For a small pot I just render when on the stovetop when I'm going to be around.)

Rich Emkey
08-21-2007, 04:29 AM
I've never used water, always just put it in a cast iron frying pan and plan on spending an hour or so tending it. I'll have to try the water and oven...sounds a lot easier.

BTW I also render chicken fat from whole free range chickens. Great for eggs.

Gary Bramley
01-22-2008, 02:45 PM
Rita,

Did you ever render the fat from the pork butt? If so how did it turn out?

I am chomping at the bit to try my hand at a few Mexican dishes, but they are calling for lard. I am very leery of store bought lard from threads I have read here from time to time. How bad is store bought lard? There was a very good thread describing the rendering process that I thought was located here (http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/6680069052/m/8410064344?r=9220056344#9220056344) in Kevin K.post, but the link no longer workds. I have looked everywhere and can not find it. Does any pork fat work? I recall that fatback is recommended, but the meat managers at my local grocery store don't even know what it is. Any suggestions anyone?

Thanks!

Q'n, Golf'n & Grill'n.... too many choices!
Gary

Phil R.
01-22-2008, 03:22 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gary Bramley:
How bad is store bought lard? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

IMO, bad. Really bad. That being said, I only have access to the stuff in the green and white tubs labeled as "Manteca/Lard". I was going to deep fry some wings in it once...when I heated it in my house, it honest to #*% smelled like a hog pen. I'm not exaggerating; it really smelled like a feedlot and it took me 2 or 3 days with windows open to get the smell out.

Try Kevin's suggestions...fresh lard has *got* to be better than storebought.

Rita Y
01-22-2008, 03:50 PM
Gary, unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to try it yet but really want to. I keep forgetting to save the trimmed fat in the last-minute rush to get the butts onto the WSM in the evening. It is still on my ever-lengthening To-Try List though. http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

I know good lard can be ordered from good sources, reputable independent pork producers (Kevin?) and I might have to use that route for a while anyway.

Rita

Bryan S
01-22-2008, 06:29 PM
If you buy lard, make sure you are buying it from the refridge section of your grocery store and not the Hydrogenated&lt;sp? crap that's sitting on the shelf beside the Crisco. That said Good Lard is everywhere in Amish Town. http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif I love the stuff, and it makes THE Best fries, and pie crust. http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

John C
01-22-2008, 07:02 PM
Rita, hang on to the fat. Its only time until you start getting into homemade sausage and then you will wish you had some extra fat. John.

Gary Bramley
01-24-2008, 04:54 AM
Rita, I am with you. I am sure there are sources; however my searches have not been successful.

Bryan, I have gone to several grocery stores, including a Latin market, and have walked out empty handed. Is there a brand to the products you mention, or is it all locally produced?

Thanks!


Q'n, Golf'n & Grill'n.... too many choices!
Gary

K Kruger
01-24-2008, 05:09 AM
Perhaps in Bryan's area there is good lard but I have never found good lard in any of the places I often shop around the country. Bryan is right though: if you're going to find it, it is going to be refrigerated or frozen; forgo all that isn't.

Lard is easy to make if you have a source for fat. I use fat from my own or a neighbor's pig most often, but the country butcher down the road often has fatback.

I've never seen good lard at a Hispanic market--but what I have seen is good fat. If you don't see it, ask and see if they have any in the back. Quite a few make their own chicharrones...

Gary Bramley
01-24-2008, 05:44 AM
I will go back to the Hispanic market. Does any pork fat work, or should I ask for something specific?

Thanks for your help.

Q'n, Golf'n & Grill'n.... too many choices!
Gary

Rita Y
01-24-2008, 06:34 AM
I found a source for fresh lard. Bryan, it's in your neighborhood! Or maybe Kevin can check it out on his next trip through the area? A little research is in order! Apparently they don't have a way to order over the Internet; you have to telephone for information and prices:

http://www.dietrichsmeats.com/index.htm

To spur you on, they mention free samples of their products. http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

There must be other sources. I found a few hits for "leaf lard," which apparently doesn't have as "porky" a flavor as regular lard, but you have to render it yourself.

Rita

Updated 3/30/11:

N O T E....USE FRESH FATBACK (in Kevin's directions below), NOT CURED (SALTED) FATBACK!
.

K Kruger
01-24-2008, 07:01 AM
What you'd be most likely to find, Gary, is also what is most suitable, fatback. Usually available skin on, the fat is removed from the skin for rendering (leave just a little on the skin if you'd like to make chicharron). Or, if you can, get the back fat alone. Go for 5 lbs.

These pics show a pot of fat just getting going and then about halfway along. The fat was from one of my pigs. Fat from the back of a commercial pig is likely to be thinner but suitable nevertheless.

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j307/klkruger/th_porkfat.jpg (http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j307/klkruger/porkfat.jpg)
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j307/klkruger/th_Image22.jpg (http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j307/klkruger/Image22.jpg)

If you wish, you can cut the fat smaller--or even grind it up--so that rendering goes more quickly.

Many render fat alone; I don't. I put it in the pot and then add water, about half the volume of the fat. This eliminates any chance of scorching the fat or the bits of lean that are likely to still be attached. And the heat transfer from pot to water to fat is more even.

Bring the water to a simmer, uncovered, over low heat; stir frequently. Keep the heat low. After a while, the water will evaporate and the melted fat will remain. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface as the fat renders.

Once rendering is halfway along (or more) you can, if you prefer, stick the pot in a slow oven (225) and continue that way. At one point or another you'll want to quit though there will be some still unrendered fat left. No matter, just strain out this and the cracklins through a cheesecloth-lines strainer. Eat the cracklins directly, spread them on toast, or use them atop a salad.

Cool the fat till it's warm but still liquid. Many people pour into containers at this stage, cool further, then fridge, period. I like cleaner, lighter lard so I add a good quantity of water to it then put into containers and fridge it till the next day. At that point the lard will be sitting on top of the water, solidified, and it can easily be removed and dried. Then I chop the lard, re-melt it over low heat, allow it to cool some off heat, then pour or ladle it into containers to cool on the counter; then I fridge it. Done.

K Kruger
01-24-2008, 07:08 AM
I haven't been to Bryan's area with any time on my hand in ages! Perhaps that will change, post winter.

Leaf lard is made from the fat surrounding the kidneys. It is highly prized for its more neutral flavor. But I do like very much the light roasted flavor of lard made from back fat.

r benash
01-24-2008, 08:06 AM
Bryan's talking about the the farm markets and shops in and around Amish country of Lancaster County, PA Being from Lancaster, I'm pretty sure he can get it pretty easily and relatively fresh. As well as some decent scrapple http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Gary Bramley
01-24-2008, 11:55 AM
Great stuff Kevin. Thanks.

Q'n, Golf'n & Grill'n.... too many choices!
Gary

Bryan S
01-24-2008, 05:48 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gary Bramley:

Bryan, I have gone to several grocery stores, including a Latin market, and have walked out empty handed. Is there a brand to the products you mention, or is it all locally produced?

Thanks!
Gary </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Gary, Lard here in Lancaster PA is like Tri Tips in California. http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
Ray, Yes the scrapple is awsome too!. http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Gary Bramley
01-25-2008, 12:04 PM
Oh, I am a happy camper. I was just cruising around town taking care of business, and I stumble across a Mexican market. They had all the dried chili's I would ever need and the best looking tomatillos and avocados. I asked the attendant behind the meat case about fatback and all I got was "no hablo engles." Next thing I know the owner of the market shows up with 5lbs of fatback. SCORE! With a little luck there may be some good mexican food in the near future.....

Thanks for the help!


Q'n, Golf'n & Grill'n.... too many choices!
Gary

K Kruger
01-25-2008, 12:19 PM
...and pork and duck confit, superb biscuits, great crusts, delicious fries...