On this here blog we are advocates of cooking with animal fats. We believe nature is better than science. And that humans are supposed to eat animal fats. This Fall I butchered my first hog. Lining the belly on the inside is a thick layer of fine fat called leaf lard.
Leaf lard is claimed to be the highest quality and most neutral tasting of all lard on the hog. I got two nice sheets of leaf lard, one from each side of the hog. I pulled the leaf lard when I was splitting the halves into primals. It almost pulls out without the use of a knife.
Once it’s out I cube it up and transfer it to the crock pot. I leave it to render until the fat is crispy and floating on top. I’m thinking it was about 8 hours or so. I let it cool somewhat and then ladled it into 1/2 gallon Mason jars. I got 1 1/2 gallons from a 350lb hog.
In our house we use lard for pie crusts and biscuits. I will sometimes use it when I need a little grease in the pan. It makes very good home fries too. Lard gets points for natural, diy and self sufficient. Thinking about the alternatives; vegetable oil, Crisco or Margarine, I think the choice is clear. Some of those fats aren’t even edible until they go through an industrial, chemical stripping process. Nasty stuff, pass the lard please.