Take lard from its raw state to a rendered fat perfect for cooking, baking and frying.
Keyword lard, pastured pork
Prep Time 7hours
5lbspork fatpreferably leaf lard (see note)
Heat oven to 225°Chop fat into approximately 1" pieces.
Put fat and water in a dutch oven or other oven-safe pot with a a lid. Cover, and put in the oven.
After six hours or so check the lard. A large amount of pure fat - it will look like pale yellow oil - should be in the pot. At this point you can ladle off as much as you can into clean jars.
Pour off the remainder through a sieve into a clean bowl, then transfer it to a jar.
Finally, if you wish to maximize your yield of rendered lard, place the pot on a low burner. With a wooden spoon press the bits of connective tissue remaining in the bottom of the pot, then pour off the last bit of lard.
Label the jars. The lard you ladled off first, which should be the vast majority, will have the mildest flavor, suitable for use in pie crusts, cookies, or for frying doughnuts. (Please make yourself some lard-fried doughnuts!) The lard you poured through the sieve will have more impurities and thus a somewhat more pronounced flavor, which means it's ideal for stir fries or cooking crispy potatoes.
•Leaf lard is the fat from around the kidneys. It is generally considered the best choice, since it yields the purest, mildest-tasting rendered lard. But any pork fat is suitable so long as it is reasonably free from meat, skin, or anything else.