Tag Archives: lard

lard

3 Dec

pastured lard …which is precisely what I am right now. A big, fat tub of lard. Actually, butter. Full of buttermash (mashed potatoes with so much butter, er, strike that, reverse it) and buttery pumpkin pie crust. Oh god it was the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever eaten. And now, here I am, in the throes of the dreaded holidays. Ugh, what a lady I just sounded like. Excuse me while I snack on my red velvet Yoplait 100 calorie snack cup.
pastured pork fat I really have been meaning to post about lard for a while. I remember the first time I made years ago it seemed to be one of those nebulous if-your-grandma-didn’t-teach-you-you’re-screwed kind of activities. Like seasoning cast iron pans. Every dumb blog out there had a different way of making it with all these hard and fast rules with no reasoning or explanation behind them. It’s really kinda stupid…it’s just getting fat rendered from fat. Ha, wtf. I don’t know how to say that. Fat from fat. Yeah. Okay. But you’ve all done it. You’ve all made bacon. The only thing with lard is that you don’t probably want to render it as quickly as you do bacon fat. You can, but if you want white, not super porky-flavored lard, then do it slow.
pastured pork fat

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walnut pork butter

29 Jul

paleo walnut pork butter I’m in a new-location-malaise. I know, poor pitiful me, what a hard life I have, but it’s true. I feel like a lump, a real sad sack. I think a need a routine and some friends. Thinking about my friends reminded me of this draft I had saved and not yet published, which was inspired by a fun dinner out I had back in Denver. One friend got a vegetarian 3-course meal, and two of the courses had butters of sorts accompanying. A delicious, slightly sweet pecan butter, an onion butter that I didn’t get enough of a taste of to figure out what they did, and…some other butter. Give me a break, I had gone out with other friends before, so I don’t remember too well all the butter details. But what I do know is, is that I had a bunch of walnuts in the freezer and a lot of confit pork bits leftover from making lard. Those little bits are great added to pan-fried potatoes and great, it turns out, puréed with walnuts, onion, and salt.
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carnitas

8 Aug

Here I go again posting another traditional, iconic recipe. It’s a little nerve-wracking because with recipes like these, opinions run strong, traditions muster up emotions and memories, and you can look like a fool for trying. But I’m pretty obsessed with authentic, uninterpreted ethnic cuisine. I’m so utterly bored with fusion cuisine, modern interpretations of traditional dishes, and recipes simplified for the home cook. I want the real, time-honored recipe. Even if it takes me all day to cook it, that’s what I want to eat. It’s why I have been eyeing making a proper mole for like 5 years, but have yet to make it (yellow mole aside, which I have made and is much simpler by nature). And it’s why I spent a whole week sourcing and rendering enough lard to make carnitas. I’ve made slow-roasted pork before, and it’s wonderful. But it’s not carnitas and I’m not going to call it such. And don’t get me wrong, I’m a-okay with simple recipes. It’s the bulk of what I make. And on a weeknight I’ll make simple versions of complex recipes. They’re weeknight meals. I just want to eat. But I get exceedingly excited about recipes like carnitas, that are slow-cooked in a vat of lard with a host of spices and aromatics and have been perfected by countless Mexican cooks for decades and decades.
Aaaand, after saying all of this, I have to admit, I modified. I just couldn’t render enough lard by the time I absolutely needed to cook the pork shoulder I bought. So defeated. I oven cooked it. Tightly packing a casserole dish was the only way I could cover the pork with the amount of lard I had. But I still cooked it in lard! And that was my goal when making carnitas. It sounds gross, like the lard will permeate the meat and make it super greasy. This isn’t the case at all. If you’re into nerding it up, you can read this fun article on the science of cooking carnitas.
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