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Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Lard


Lard has something of a negative image due to all the bad press given to saturated fats (which is actually attribuatable to man-made rather than natural saturated fats but that's beyond the scope of this post) and is something that I had never used until recently. I was inspired to use it by Amanda who actually renders her own lard although I have not gone that far and just buy it from the supermarket.

I first tried out lard in baked porridge (oatmeal). I did it half and half which tasted fine and have since had it with just lard which still did not taste significantly different to when I made it with butter. I use 4oz in the recipe which at £1/250g is 44p for butter and at 28p/250g is 12p for lard (or 28p if I do half and half). Since lard is 72% cheaper, the savings can add up over a year.

I also discovered another advantage of lard. I've always used margerine or butter or oil with flour to stop biscuits, bread, cakes etc. sticking to the tins. Unfortunately this has never been very successful and I have often had trouble getting things clean or even getting the contents out of the tin in one piece. One day however I decided to try out lard mainly because it was cheaper so I figured I might as well try. The difference is amazing. I have just greased the tins by rubbing the block of lard on them (without adding flour) and everything comes off really easily. It has been so effective with bread that the tins almost don't need cleaning afterwards. Even if you are not convinced of the healthiness of actually eating lard, it is worth using just for this.

6 comments:

Jennifer said...

My grandmother, who is not 87 years young, always cooked with lard. Now she uses vegetable shortening(Crisco) but I remember seeing the lard (animal fat) years ago when I was younger. They would render their own lard when they butchered a hog each year. The food tasted, IMHO, a whole lot better. As far as it being unhealthy, I don't know. Like I said my grandmother is 87 and my grandfather was one month away from being 90 when he passed away of lukemia(sp?)

Linda said...

I remember my italian grandma (and all of her age-mates) cooking just about everything in lard. Everything that needed to be heated above the point where olive oil starts to burn was cooked in or baked with lard.

I personally prefer tallow, just because it's made from cows instead of pigs. Otherwise I think it's the same. Absolutely THE best option for frying fries.. no wait, that would be chips in england ;)

Greetings from the netherlands!

Deeny said...

Lard makes the best pie crusts. Use 2 parts lard to 1 part butter ratio for the shortening in a pie crust recipe and you'll have the best of both worlds-- super flakey and buttery taste.
:-)
Have a great day!

Milehimama said...

Amanda inspired me, too - so far I've only rendered bacon grease, though.

I keep lard or shortening in a little dish (a sugar bowl I got at a thrift store) with a pastry brush, and brush it anywhere I would use cooking spray.

Thanks for linking up!

Saved Sinner said...

Milehimama - I was puzzling how you manage to spread lard with a pastry brush but then I remembered it's a lot warmer where you are - here it's too cold to spread it like that.

Milehimama said...

I keep it near the stove, so it's usually pretty soft.

I learned that trick when I worked in a pizza shop - they had a very stiff paintbrush that they used on all of their pans and just stuck it right in the Crisco container!

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