Monday, 4 May 2015

Rendering pig fat - Lard

Last month I wrote about making the bacon from our pig processing, and I promised to write more about using the whole of the pig. Not wasting anything from that animal whose life we took so that we could eat pork.
Lard is what you get when you render the fat that's left over after all the cuts have been made, ie, chops, roasts, bacon. I hate to see people throw all that fat away. Lard is a delicious fat for cooking and, if the pig was raised in a natural manner (not pumped up on grains and doctored with chemicals) the fat is healthy and nutritious.
The truth about lard

This is how I make our lard which I use for;

Roasting (potatoes and other veges)
Pastry making
Soap making
                                                          Don't throw the fat away!

Put all the left over skin and fat into baking dishes in a moderate oven and collect the fat as it melts. Every half hour or so, carefully tip the melted fat into a saucepan or other solid container. Not plastic, it will melt.
Return the baking tins to the oven until all of the fat has melted out.
As the poured off fat cools a little, but is still pourable, you can then tip into plastic freezer containers or glass jars.
The lard will keep in the fridge for a few weeks so I keep one in the fridge, but store the remaining containers in the freezer.

The solids that remain after rendering should be disposed of and not fed to the chickens. It's too rich for them.
Our dogs, Max and Meg, appreciate the crispy skin but we feed only a little at a time as it's very rich. We break it up into pieces and store it in the freezer.

And now to the pigs head.
The dogs enjoyed the ears. They had one each which they chewed on for hours.
The tongue and cheeks have been stored in the freezer with the liver for the making of Barossa German style white pudding at a later date.

The skull will be made into bone char (bio char) and used in the gardens and paddocks.

I hope our ancestors would be pleased that we used every part of the pig except the squeal.  


  1. Hi Sally and Brian

    Hope you're keeping well. Found your blog via Rhonda on Down to Earth site and I am enjoying it very much.

    You probably already know how to do this but I thought if not it may be another way of using up the pigs head.

    With the Pigs head my Nana use to use 1/2 of it with 1 beef shin bone and various herbs and a small onion and Salt & Pepper, to make Brawn. Just cover the meat with water and boil all together until the meat leaves the bones and then lift out and shred to a small consistency. Add back to the boiler (without bones) and reduce a little. Place in a bowl or I use a loaf tin and leave to set. Comes out a bit like a meatloaf with meat set in a type of aspic jelly. Very nice for sandwiches or used as a spread on crackers. Thankyou for a wonderful read and allowing me to visit your farm on a regular basis even though I live so far away (Hervey Bay QLD) and I hope you and your animals all stay safe from the terrible fires down there at present.

    1. Hi Angela, thanks for your visit and for leaving a lovely comment. I made brawn back in the early days of pig butchering with varying success. The first one went to the chooks! The next year it turned out quite well but Brian had awful experiences with brawn as a child (his family were German descendants or Barossa Duetch as we call it here) and can't bring himself to eat it now. He's more excited with the Barossa White Pudding which is all the waste bits minced and fed into thick sausage casing with herbs and rice. Sounds weird, but is delicious. The makings for it are all still in the freezer waiting for us to have a spare couple of hours one day. Ha!!
      Shearing all this weekend and have just butchered a couple of hogget (sheep) for the freezer. A normal weekend!! I hope your weekend is a bit more relaxed. :)


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