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Lard!

As fall descends on our little village hidden away up the North Thompson, it's time to shift from growing to harvesting and further to preserving. We grow a lot of our own food, and trade surplus for things we either don't or can't grow on StoneGround Farm. We can, freeze, dry, pickle, smoke and ferment all kinds of things.

We will soon have lamb and beef for the freezer, and to make some room I'm beginning to process the hog fat we have into lard. Last fall was a whole hog and we still have about half left. We always ask for most of the pig -- a couple of years ago I also got the feet and made Criubini which turned out to be far more trouble than I thought it worth. So we have some bags of fat, and today Mrs. Hippie pulled one out and suggested I do something with it. So I did...

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Just after things got melty. I ground the fat through a 1/4-inch plate into the pot, then gradually heated it up. I keep the heat about medium-low and stir regularly. Otherwise I just let it cook until the cracklings are a nice tan-brown colour and the fat has reached around 250F. Then it's filtered into jars, cooled and then frozen until we need it. The dog thinks she'll get most of the cracklings, but I do like a nice baked potato with butter, sour cream and cracklings on top!

I also have some beef fat out there I need to render into tallow. Most of the tallow I make goes in shave soap, but we do occasionally use it when we want a harder fat.

Next year I'll be due again to take some slabs of pork fat and cure them with salt and spices for a nice long ferment, and then give them a cool smoke with alder before grinding and rendering a lovely smoked lard that I reserve for making frijoles refritos.

Today's haul was a small batch; four 500ml jars of lard and one of crackling. But there's no hurry.

"Secret's in the sauce!"

O.H.
 
As the OP I'll rule that in order. :)

Commercial lard is made from hogs that have been fed all kinds of antibiotics and hormones, and a crappy diet as well. Then it's bleached and treated with other things. It'll make you sick, too.

Well-raised hogs give good lard. They also give good pork as a side benefit. :)

More and more studies are being published showing us that our learned "all fat is bad" is actually wrong. There was a study just a couple of weeks ago published from Sweden, showing that people who consume dairy fat (milk, cream, cheese, butter, ice cream, etc.) have lower risk of heart disease.

It's suggestive but not correlative, as they say. Which means: the people in the study were all middle age or younger, nonsmokers, moderate drinkers at most, fit, and ate a diverse diet. It underscores, however, that if you're taking care of yourself you're not "immune" to problems but you're also not setting yourself up for lots of problems.

Or as Mum used to say, "All things in moderation." To which I, having read Robert Heinlein, responded, "including moderation."

O.H.
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
Commercial lard is made from hogs that have been fed all kinds of antibiotics and hormones, and a crappy diet as well. Then it's bleached and treated with other things. It'll make you sick, too.

Well-raised hogs give good lard. They also give good pork as a side benefit. :)

Indeed.

Ditto that for other meat sources. Remember this ...
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... and this ...
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... the next time you buy eggs or are thinking of one of those $8 Costco rotisserie chickens ...
 
Lard spread on toast was a childhood snack for me. Eaten in moderation, every day during winter.:biggrin1:
Best was rendered goose fat, then hen and last pork.
My folks used to can pork and sausages in lard and that lard was excellent as spread.
In our days my kids turn their noses to amazing foods... Just not good enough for them or not healthy.:001_rolle
 
I definitely prefer to use lard and tallow for certain things. Homemade biscuits are definitely better when made with lard
 
Indeed.

Ditto that for other meat sources. Remember this ...
View attachment 1336846
... and this ...
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... the next time you buy eggs or are thinking of one of those $8 Costco rotisserie chickens ...
If the price of free range chickens was the same as that of the factory chickens, I'm sure everyone would be in favor of laws mandating all chickens be free range. However, that's just not the case. With laws mandating animals be given room to roam comes higher cost of meat. This will (not may) price significant numbers of working class families out the market. All for what? So some wealthy folks can feel good about how their meat lived before slaughter?

Call me a bleeding heart liberal, but I believe in putting the welfare of people before that of animals--let alone animals that are solely raised to be slaughtered for food.
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
If the price of free range chickens was the same as that of the factory chickens, I'm sure everyone would be in favor of laws mandating all chickens be free range. However, that's just not the case. With laws mandating animals be given room to roam comes higher cost of meat. This will (not may) price significant numbers of working class families out the market. All for what? So some wealthy folks can feel good about how their meat lived before slaughter?

Call me a bleeding heart liberal, but I believe in putting the welfare of people before that of animals--let alone animals that are solely raised to be slaughtered for food.
I'm not suggesting laws mandating anything, nor am I a PETA-phile. I am fine with us raising animals to eat them.

On the other hand, I'm not fond of needless cruelty to any creature. The trope of a sadistic little child pulling wings off of flies and growing up to be a serial killer ... bears thinking about.

All I'm saying is that "you are what what you eat eats" ... and so if the chicken you eat comes from a factory farm where it's fed antibiotics, sawdust and dung ... well ... you ain't gettin' good eats from that.

Buy the most nutritious food you can afford. Be informed, and buy wisely.
 
I'm not suggesting laws mandating anything, nor am I a PETA-phile. I am fine with us raising animals to eat them.

On the other hand, I'm not fond of needless cruelty to any creature. The trope of a sadistic little child pulling wings off of flies and growing up to be a serial killer ... bears thinking about.

All I'm saying is that "you are what what you eat eats" ... and so if the chicken you eat comes from a factory farm where it's fed antibiotics, sawdust and dung ... well ... you ain't gettin' good eats from that.

Buy the most nutritious food you can afford. Be informed, and buy wisely.
I agree with all that.

I apologize; I think I may have vented some of my frustration with the California voters who passed the proposition that now demands meat animals be housed in cage free environments at you. While the voters may have had their hearts in the right place re the animals, they completely ignored the impact this would have on their fellow Californians who live paycheck to paycheck. These latter are the ones who will end up going without healthy meat and animal protein because they won't be able to afford it any more.
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
I agree with all that.

I apologize; I think I may have vented some of my frustration with the California voters who passed the proposition that now demands meat animals be housed in cage free environments at you. While the voters may have had their hearts in the right place re the animals, they completely ignored the impact this would have on their fellow Californians who live paycheck to paycheck. These latter are the ones who will end up going without healthy meat and animal protein because they won't be able to afford it any more.
No problem.

We are on the same wavelength. I just don't have to live in California. (But up here in Canada we ain't far behind!!)
 
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