Daily Archives: December 17, 2016
HOW TO MAKE LARD:
*One pound of fat and skin makes about 12 ounces of lard. I will have to say we used all the skin and fat that we could salvage off the pig. We did not try and separate the skin off the fat.
*1/2 tsp of baking soda per pound of fat
1). Cut the fat into small cubes.
2). Weigh the fat and then places cubes into stock pot and mix in a 1/2 tsp of baking soda per pound not kilos. The baking soda is used to make the lard turn white when it cools.
3). Turn the heat to lowest setting and gently simmer the pot or 1-2 hrs (per pound). Stir every 30 minutes or so. The fat will slowly melt. The larger the batch the longer the time it takes to cook down. Be careful not to boil this or cook this at too high of a heat! You do not want the lard to stick to the bottom and burn.
You could use a crock pot if your stove’s lowest setting are too high to insure a very low slow simmer. Put a lid on the pot, but leave it slightly ajar to allow water to escape.
The fat will then start to turn brown( see picture above). The crackling will rise to the surface. This is the your signal that it’s done. Remove from heat and let it cool.
4). Cover a strainer with a piece of cheese cloth and strain out the lard into a glass bow or container transfer to mason jars. The crackling can be salted and saved a taste ! The liquid lard will appear golden brown in color. It will turn white when it has cooled and begun to solidify.
5). Let it cool and transfer it to the refrigerator.
We had a little over 7 kilos of fat=15 Lbs. of fat. I assume that is why we didn’t have the crackling to save. We cooked it all down too much because of the size of the batch that we made. We strained out the liquid lard continuously out of the pan as it cooked. The first picture shows what the fat looks like as it is cooked down. As you can see by the photo we are almost done making lard. We poured the last of the liquid lard out of the pan after hubby took this photo. We had a wire mesh strainer to strain the lard through it. The second photo is the lard we had already harvested. When we pour the last batch of liquid lard from the first photo in the plastic lard container it was almost full to the top. We poured the hot lard into a glass bowl and let it cool enough that it would not risk melting the plastic container.
I can’t tell you how proud of ourselves we were after all that work was done. We talk about it like it is liquid gold. We were shocked to see that the only thing we had to throw away were dried brittle bones. We just couldn’t believe it was a small bag of light weight trash.
Hubby can’t wait to taste my pies this Christmas and all the things I will make with the lard.
The picture above is the bones boiling in the pot. We put the skull, feet, ribs.. I mean all the bones. The bones have been boiling for hours already. They have cooked down quite a bit. I season the water with salt, garlic powder, powdered cloves, pepper and balsamic vinegar and white vinegar. The reason I use vinegar is to leach all the vitamins and minerals out of the bones. The vinegar also dissolves the cartilage, which makes the broth turn gelatinous when cooled. We let this boil for 14 hours. We had to let it cool for a long time so we could handle the contents of the pot without burning ourselves. The meat just fell of the bones. We basically picked the bones out of the pot. Then we pulled all the meat out of it and carefully sifted through it to pick any ones we missed. We Strained the broth to make sure there were no small bone fragments. We placed it in jars and set in the refrigerator to solidify. We divided it up into plastic bags and placed them in the freezer. We have some happy and well fed dogs.
It is the time of year that we buy our winter pig. We ordered a 1/2 pig from a local farm. Our neighbor bought the other half. We decide after discussing it with our neighbor. That this year our neighbor would pick up the two halves and delivered one of the halves to us on his way home. That was two weeks ago. This pig is larger than usual. I sanitized the kitchen before he came. We made all the preparations to butcher the pig. Nothing we hate worse than running around looking for utensil or equipment we forgot to set out. We like to be organized and the process to run smoothly. We do dishes and clean simultaneously as the butchering is being done. Cleanliness is of the upmost importance.
Two of the pans to the left are the fat and skin that I set aside to make lard. A small container of Crisco (1 1/2 cups) here cost about 20 dollars. I refuse to buy it. I saw a recipe on Pinterest on how to make Lard. I thought we can try to follow the recipe and see how it turns out. I thought if we fail at making it, what did I lose except my time. I figured I would just go back on the net and find another recipe and try it on next years pig.
The Bowl on the right are meat scraps saved for grinding in to hamburger meat. We use to throw away all the fat, skin and bones. You would be shocked how much we wasted before we made lard, bone both, dog food. We have learned that we can get more meat off the bones, if we boil them. We make bone broth at the same time. We save all the bones, skull and boil it down in a large pot to make bone broth for the dogs. You would be shocked how much meat comes off those bones.