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Lard rendering questions

9 years ago

Hi -- I'm hoping someone here will have more experience with this than I do.

I've been making my piecrusts with butter but I wanted to try something more neutral-flavored, so I bought leaf lard from a local farm that raises pastured heritage pigs. I rendered it according to their instructions, which was about the same as you find anywhere else: cooked with just a little water on medium-low heat for a couple of hours on the stovetop. I did turn the heat to high for a minute or two toward the end when it didn't look like it was simmering any longer. I also squashed some of the pieces with a spoon while they were cooking, thinking that would help them melt faster. The resulting lard is beige and has a porky odor and flavor, not something I'd want to use in a pie. I've seen online pictures of rendered leaf lard that looks fluffy and white and is said to be odorless, but that's not what I have. So my question is: could mine be because of my cooking technique, or is it the lard I bought? In other words, do I try again with a different lard source (if I can find one), try again with lard from this same farm but don't cook it so long (or do something else different); or is this normal for leaf lard, meaning I'll probably be happier just sticking with butter?


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