As long as it is the right kind of fat.
The American Heart Association has its head up its up wide bottomed arse unfortunately as it continues to slander decent fat. Failing to inform the public (let alone health care professionals like myself) about nutrient dense grass fed fat, fat from pastured hogs, fat from animals not pumped full of antibiotics and hormones (which love to settle into those animals poor hides and just stay there, never to be metabolized or excreted) and how WONDERFUL this fat is for your skin, your hair your overall health, is the real crime.
But rather than waste the rest of your day ranting about what most of you already know I'll get to the real fat of this post...Lard. Pure white yummy, best to cook and bake with, lard. (But if you'd like to know more about good and bad fats read what the Weston A Price Society has to say http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats)
Many of our customers ask us to sell them lard, but it's just one more area the state has its fingers in. I legally can't make and sell lard as its considered "processing" which I don't have a licensed kitchen in which to do. However if I happen to make too much and share some of it with a fellow farmer who shares some of her products with me...well that's just dandy.
First, a couple terms:
Lard: Comes from the Rendered Fat of hogs
Tallow: Comes from the rendered Fat or Suet of Beef
Leaf Lard: Made from the fat that accumulates around hogs kidneys and other inner organs
Render: The process of making fat.
So here is the ultra-difficult method for processing lard.
Step one. Obtain good fat from a local farmer who feeds his animals the way you want them fed.We charge $2.99 for our hog fat which is what lard is made from. Organic Fat is the store will be twice as much.
Step two. Put the fat in a large roasting pan and put the heat on 300. This will liguify it and separate any meat, gristle from the fat. I usually do 5-15 pounds of fat at a time. You can also use a heavy pan and put in oven. I don't reccomend doing it on the stove. Too easy for the fat to burn and you have to watch it too often. Waste of time.
Step three. Stir the fat occasionally. It takes several hours for fat to break down slowly without burning. Yes, the whole house smells like bacon for days.
Step four. Drain the liquid fat. You can use cheesecloth or a coffee filter like I do, or that dishtowel your Aunt Agnes gave you. You know the one with giraffes because that is what you collected in grade school.
Step five. Let the drained fat cool. Feed the cracklins (leftover meat and fat chunks) to your family, your dogs your cats. I like mine with coarse sea salt. Store the lard in fridge for many weeks or in freezer for many many months.
Now go make the best pie crusts, and biscuits EVER!