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Thread: Lard – rendered fat

  1. #1
    Never Alone In The Bush
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    Lard – rendered fat

    Lard is the rendered fat from pork or lamb. (Fat from beef is called tallow).
    Rendering is the process of separating fat from proteins, water and other solids present in meat (or vegetables)
    IMAG0796 (Small).jpg

    Fat of often treated as a waste product, but when converted to Lard, it has a lot of traditional uses, for example:
    - candles/lamps
    - soap
    - rushlights
    - lubricant
    - as a preservative
    - Added to cooking
    - Rendering is also a way of preserving the fat for later use (after all, how much fat do you need at a time ?)

    When added to cooking It is said to be excellent when making pastry, as an “oil” when frying, or in any other application where butter or oil would otherwise be used.
    It is said to have only a very mild flavour, and greatly enhances both the texture and flavour of pastry.

    Now you may be horrified about using lard to cook with – how unhealthy is that !
    Well you may be surprised to learn that rendered animal fats are now considered by many nutritionists to be one of the “good fats”, like olive oil !
    That’s not to say you should eat lots of it, it is still fat; but substituting lard from another good oil is actually not such a bad nutritional choice.

    But don’t take my work for it, I’m not a nutritionist.

    On to the lard :

    I started with a tub of fat cut from the outside of a roast
    IMAG0783 (Small).jpg

    I chopped it into small pieces, this increases the surface area and helps the rendering (some people don’t bother to chop it)
    IMAG0785 (Small).jpg

    I put it in a heavy saucepan on a very gently heat and kept it moving while it heated

    The fat soon started to lubricate the pan and pool at the bottom. The white fat soon became translucent as it heated.

    You can see the pan boiling – that’s the water separating and boiling off – this is good because we want to get rid of the water
    IMAG0786 (Small).jpg

    The solids start to deep fry and (mostly) float; there are a few dreggy bits which sink to the bottom.
    IMAG0789 (Small).jpg

    When the water component has disappeared, the boiling will stop. That’s when its ready.

    I poured the mix through a sieve and into some clean jars.
    IMAG0790 (Small).jpg

    The oil is clear and yellowish.
    IMAG0792 (Small).jpg

    Once cooled, the oil becomes a white solid. The texture is like that of soft butter.
    IMAG0794 (Small).jpg

    The solids, collected in the strainer, are referred to as crackling.
    Some people save these and add them as sprinkles in salads etc – to me they seem a bit greasy to want to do anything with, but I did eat a few and they and nice.



    The rendering process took a bit over an hour to complete.

    My first project was to (quickly) try and make a rushlight. I didn’t properly prepare the rush, but it did burn with a clear, yellow flame and would be very effective with a bit more effort; but that’s another project !

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  3. #2
    Rüdiger Nehberg
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    Nicely done.
    I regularly make bacon lard, it's fantastic to cook with and I agree, a very gentle heat is the key to melting off the fats without scorching them - the lard should come out as very pale, almost white (just like yours has, again well done)

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  5. #3
    Russell Coight

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    Thank you for posting this up. I gave the oven method a go a couple of weeks ago and was pleased with the results.
    For this way of making it, I used a camp oven and put the chopped up fat in a colander to fit inside the camp oven - with an occasional stirring or mashing. Oven temp 100C (220F). Takes pretty much all day.
    I did miss a step after extraction, and should have strained through a cheese cloth into a bowl. Before the final straining.
    Re-heated the oil again, and strained through coffee filters (because I'd missed the first straining, I used a lot of filter paper).
    The result from straining through the paper is a super clear oil.
    I have read that removing as much cellular structure that remains in the oil helps to prevent it going rancid. But also that a second heating helps with longevity (can't confirm this tho).

    I did use beef suet from the butcher - a bit hard to track down, but found a source locally for $1.50 a kilo (another butcher said I'd have to buy a box of it, 10kg for $40.

    I'm hoping to make some pemmican as time goes on - starting this weekend!

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    Never Alone In The Bush
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    Good to hear.

    Those jars did not go rancid - more than 2 years after they were made (I think they have been used up now, but if I find them hiding, I'll do an update)

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    Rüdiger Nehberg
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    please start a thread about the pemmican when you do try it. I have been meaning to try it - i love the leftovers after rendering the bacon lard but haven't tried proper pemmican yet.

  10. #6
    Russell Coight

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    Thanks for bringing up this post - I'd be giving it a crack.

  11. #7
    Les Stroud
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    If you want to have a play with lard quickly Allow ride still make Prime Lard. At $5 for 250g at Woolworths it's a convent way to experiment with tallow candles and toll preservation.
    Custom leather and canvas bushcraft equipment.

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  13. #8
    Les Stroud
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    I meant to type Allowrie
    (damn auto correct)
    Custom leather and canvas bushcraft equipment.

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