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Old 12-02-2012, 08:37 AM   #201
A proud pragmatist.
H96669's Avatar
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
Oddometer: 4,742
Coffee filters, they don't do all that good with oils. Just go ask any restaurant if they could spare a fat filter or 2. I'd give you some if I was closer.

Producing lard....darn I used to have one of them huge cast iron kettles, must have been a 60+ gallons. That's what they used them for in the old days, scalding pigs and then produce lard after the butchering. I watched them do just that in Mexico a couple times, everything in the pot bones and all....lets make lard. The smell can be a little offensive and the end product a little on the dark side. But tasty....!

I like that smiley...reminds me of my youth when we set up my big cast iron kettle for "corn on the cob" parties. That thing would sing when set on a large fire with 40 gallons of water boiling in it. Then dump the cobs in there by the hundreds and later fish them out with a leaf rake. A few pounds of butter preferably set on the hood of someone's junker and some salt. LOTS of beer....

I had some doubts about the fat rendering method, did not match what I learned many years ago but had to wait until I got home to my somewhat extensive library of very old cookbooks.Because I remembered the process should start with water and then found a recipe in "The cuisines of Mexico" by Diana Kennedy:

Easy and best of mess or much time wasted stirring the pot.

A meat grinder and 2 lbs of pork fat:Cut the fat into pieces and pass it through the coarse disk of a meat grinder or chop finely in a food processor.( My notes on better if the fat is frozen first and then chop as it is thawing. The food processor works well as long as it is a real one like a Cuisinart, not a wimpy discount one.Same applies to the cleaver work.)

A large bowl and 1 cup of cold water: Pour the water over the fat in the bowl and mix it well. Set aside to soak for at least 6 hours.

3 8-ounce jars: Sterilize the jars.(Note and food service tip, we now use an Hydrogen Peroxide solution to sterilize our equipments.)

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

A heavy iron pan: Transfer the fat and water to the pan. Place on top shelf of the oven and cook until the fat starts to render- about 15 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 225 F and continue cooking for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Pour off the drippings from time to time, straining them into the prepared jars. Set the jars aside for about 36 hours and then seal and store in a cool, dry place.

Author's notes on the process: " The rendering could be done on top of the stove but I find the steady. indirect heat of the oven more satisfactory-the fat is less likely to catch you unawares and start to brown." (Diana Kennedy, The cuisines of Mexico, 1989)

Now that you have lard, go make some deep dish pies in them cast iron pans.I always get a kick of feeding pies to the vegetarians, vegetable shortenings just don't do it for me.
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