Uh oh. I’ve been reading homesteading and real food blogs, and I think I’m ready for a whole new level of hippy-ness.
Lard. Yup, lard. Apparently, this stuff is actually healthy and good for you.
Let me be clear – lard is not Crisco. Crisco is not real food. Crisco, in the words of Michael Pollan, is an edible food-like substance. Lard is real food. You can read more about it here (this is the blog post that brought about my lard revelation).
Since we’ve been buying wild boar bacon at the Farmers’ Market, I decided to save up all that wonderful bacon fat, and clarify it. This is a first step. Soon, I’ll be walking into a butcher shop to buy a bag of pig fat, but not yet. Baby steps.
Keeping a jar of bacon fat in the kitchen used to be a common practice, and still is in some parts of North America. Clarified bacon grease can be used for lots of wonderful, tasty things.
- Last night, we rubbed down a ribeye steak with bacon fat before tossing it on the grill.
- Use it to fry up veggies or eggs.
- Use it in making the pastry crust for a quiche.
- Smear it on a griddle for pancakes or french toast.
- I even thought of tossing a spoonful into the mashed potatoes last night, but resisted. (But I’m pretty sure it would have been delicious).
The clarifying process is pretty simple. Put the saved grease in a pan with an equal amount of water. Heat until all the fat has melted. Pour it into a container and wait for it to cool. The fat will rise to the top, and the water with all the nasty bits will stay at the bottom. Scoop off the fat and store in a container in the fridge. Done. Another method is to clarify by pouring the bacon grease through a paper towel or cheesecloth immediately after cooking.