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    MariaNYC's Avatar
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    Rendered lard a strange color?

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    I rendered lard from a little more than 2lbs of pork fat back, on the stove top over low-medium heat. Toward the end of the simmering process, I turned up the heat to medium-high, because it seemed like the cracklings were taking too long to crisp up (this was after about an hour of cooking). After filtering out the cracklings and other residue, the hot liquid I ended up with was a medium brown color, and upon cooling, the lard has a light brown tinge to it. I'm worried that I "burned" the lard and that it's not fit for use (I've read/seen that lard should be while in color).

    Any one have experience with rendering lard, and can advise?

    thanks for all your help!!
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    Chefgerry's Avatar
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    Did you not use any water? Once the fat is rendered it may appear a little golden, but once it's strained and cooled it should be white or pretty close....leaf lard is probably better. Heat should not be turned up...your just being impatient. A crock pot is a good alternative.
    Last edited by Chefgerry; 09-20-2010 at 08:12 AM.
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    MariaNYC's Avatar
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    Thanks for your response, Chefgerry.
    I did not use water. This is the recipe I followed:
    http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/...nder-lard.html

    I was not able to obtain leaf lard, so thought I would try it with fat back. Like I said, it has a slight light brown hue to it, but close to white. I guess me question is: Is it possible to ruin lard by over-cooking on a higher temp?

    EDIT: I re-read the recipe, and found that it is possible to overcook it and end up with brown-ish lard. Looks like that's still OK for savory dishes, but not for baking sweets, which makes sense and is fine by me.
    Last edited by MariaNYC; 09-20-2010 at 08:20 AM.
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    Chefgerry's Avatar
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    Higher temperatures will result in a more brown lard and from what I understand it also lowers the smoke point.
    There's two types of rendering 1) Wet 2) Dry 1) uses water and cooked slowly and 2) uses higher heat. both will result in cracklings, so your not missing out. I render and use a wet method and also use leaf, but I have used back fat and it's fine for everyday cooking. I just like using leaf for it's taste (mild and clean) which I can use for veg or fish where I don't want the fat to impart any additional taste of what I'm cooking.
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    MariaNYC's Avatar
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    Thanks, Chefgerry. I called around for leaf lard, but no one had it in stock, so I'm going to request one of the butcher places get it for me next time. Anyway, I'm going to try mine out tonight for some veggies, hopefully the flavor isn't too strong for my husband to detect it (not a fan of pork)
    Everything in moderation, including moderation.

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    Chefgerry's Avatar
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    Yeah, most supermarkets get their meat already processed and they're not getting that extra fat, bones that people use to get for almost free.....a butcher that gets the whole carcass can save the leaf lard for you......it's the fat surrounding the kidneys. Organic breeds or local animals from reputable and responsible farmers are the way to go if you have a choice.
    Whether you think you can..... or you think you can't..... your 100 % correct.

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