LEAF LARD . . . the creme de la creme of lard!



This summer my neighbor and I  decided to raise our own pork.  We loved the idea that we would know exactly what we were eating.  We were taking the consumption of  organic meat to the ultimate level.

What was not expected was the opportunity to obtain organic leaf lard. The very highest grade of lard.  There’s about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds per pig and it comes from the area around the kidney.  Once it is rendered it is snow white, odorless and the cleanest fat.  The crème de la crème of lard.

It has always been known by the cognoscenti of pie makers that lard makes the flakiest pastry.  Bakers use it for light biscuits and tender cakes.   It produces flakier crusts than butter.  Butter begins to melt into the dough at a lower temperature; even the small amount of water present in butter may cause the dough particles to stick to one another – rather than separate into layers that constitute flaky pastry.

Naturally rendered lard is mostly monounsaturated fat in the form of oleic fatty acid which is very healthy and great to use in almost any recipe that calls for fats. Butter is primarily a saturated fat.  Lard by percentage is primarily an unsaturated fat.  Lard is lower in fat and cholesterol that butter.

Using your favorite pie recipe and the combination of half butter half lard for the fat  results in flaky pastry with butter flavour.

You can purchase rendered leaf lard at quality butchers.   You should be able to purchase leaf lard  to render your self from butchers who specialize in farm-gate meat cutting .

Rendering leaf lard at home  is a simple, uncomplicated process.  You don’t need an special equipment.  For the easier instructions simply click on RENDERING LEAF LARD.   The recipe has lots of how-to photographs .

There’s another bonus to rendering leaf lard.  You end up with delicious and decadent pork crackling.



10 thoughts on “LEAF LARD . . . the creme de la creme of lard!

  1. Okay, now I’m FAMISHED, thank you very much. Oh the drawbacks of apartment living. Even if I wanted to try to raise my own livestock, city ordinances are pretty strict about using your garage as a barn/slaughterhouse. Alas! It will have to go on my “one day” list. Wait, what am I saying?

    Did I ever tell you my grandfather founded his own sausage company? My uncles still run it in Milwaukee. Guess I could try this out there.

  2. Oh you Culinary Goddess!!! How many hundreds os times I assisted with this process while growing up! Once again, you bring back all the memories. Leaf Lard is the delight of all! The other less desirable lard we used to make soap, tins and tubs of soap, oh the labor to create all those things that people now take for granted. The cracklings would make even a king swoon with delight.

    What an exciting adventure you have embarked upon! I do not know if I would have the fortitude to undertake all this. Augustine and I are now in Vermont, having visited Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Photos to come upon our return to the Emerald City. Our travels have been divine as the Flying Monkeys have enjoyed the cooler weather and are not as quarrelsome. Off to the Adirondacks and Loon a Lake on Sunday. The colors are magnificent!!!

    • “Pennies in a stream. Falling leaves, a sycamore. Moonlight in Vermont. A dream holiday for you and Augustine. Tinny,is it any wonder the yellow brick road stretches from our door all the way to Texas. When I asked the butcher for the leaf lard from our pigs he was SO happy. No one ever wants it. And would I like a little more? Perhaps 40 pounds? I took 20 pounds the rendered half last week. The first thing the Lar made was biscuits. They were divine.

    • I must admit Jonell when I started the rendering of the leaf lard I thought this doing EVERYTHING from scratch was getting out of control. But I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to render my own leaf lard. My chef father taught me how to buy meat – hanging from hooks in a butchers walk- in cooler. He would approve of my treasured supply of leaf lard.

  3. Isn’t it a shame that we were told for decades that lard and butter would give us heart attacks – all in the name of pushing a chemical concoction called margarine! Glad you have the chance to raise your own animals for meat. We have chickens and enjoy the eggs. Every once in a while, we have to dispatch a nasty rooster. It’s always quite a process to butcher an animal and do it with reverence for the fact that one has taken their life so we can eat. You don’t get that connection at all when buying plastic wrapped, frozen meat in the supermarket….

    • Into every life a nasty rooster must come. It’s how we handle the roosters in life that count. Such a delight to read you positiver thoughts on the subject of leaf lard. Virginia

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