Monday, August 16, 2010

Lard

Cracklings

If you read the Little House books then you might recall Laura fondly writing about cracklings. The way she exalted them always made me curios to want to eat them. How they are made is to take pork fat and render out the lard. The leftover pieces are the cracklings. I didn't eat any of these cracklings, by the way.

My purpose for rendering pork fat was to make lard with the intention of making authentic carnitas. I bought almost 2 pounds of fatback at the store. It comes covered in coarse grained salt. I cubed the fat, rinse off the salt, then put it into one of my fancy French pots. I added about ½ cup water and put it on a low heat to simmer. In about an hour the water evaporated and the fat began to pop and crackle. At this point I began stirring frequently. Once the pieces began floating, at about 90 minutes, I scooped them out. I then poured out the liquid into a measuring cup to cool before putting into a storage container that eventually was refrigerated.

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