Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Finishing up - lard and leavings

Oh Lard...lard lard lard. Lard and more lard. So much lard....

The leaf lard we got was extraordinary. This entire kettle was full of leaf fat - more than we've ever gotten before. I can't wait to bake with it. Of course, I had to render it first.

Today was all about lard and leavings. Remember that there's two kinds of fat on a hog - leaf lard which is fat surrounding the organs. Than then there is the rest of the "regular" fat that is around the outside of the hog. The leaf lard makes the most amazing baking lard for pie crusts and pastries. And the regular fat is good for everything else.

I used Big Onion's grind and render method and wow did I get great results with the leaf lard. The rest of the fat did OK. However I ended up with a kind of weird blob of fat-leavings. When I cut up the lard I got pieces. The pieces are good for us because they are easier to feed to the chickens. The best thing about having lard - besides having lard - is the leavings to feed to the poultry. Talk about a great source of protein and calories! Mix with some cracked corn or scratch and the hennies will eat it up.

My biggest stock pot was full of bones-n-stuff.

The next thing I worked on was the leavings for the dogs. I trimmed the bones and such generously so I'd have more for the dogs. I cooked several really big pots of bones and such. And also the kinda gross stuff. You know.. hearts and kidneys and the like. I ended up with a rich broth - and all the meat. We have some very happy dogs.
Dog snacks went into jars

And finally I worked on pate. I love pate..oh liver.. I love you in the wurst way...

Liver pate was spooned into jars

If you don't have it, run right out and get a copy of Ruhlman's Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing...he's got some great stuff in there. I loosely used his recipe for pate. Mixed it all up, and cooked it in a hot water bath - in pint jars. I'll put them in the freezer and anytime I want a little lovely liver, I'll have it by the pint.

I still haven't gotten to curing the bacons - so that's on the agenda for Thursday. Whew! This has been a ton of work but its also been a lot of fun. Of course, it was kind of a weird day for anyone to call me. Most folks know better to ask me what I'm doing - some of the answers are met with long awkward pauses. Or sudden hang ups. Today the answers to "whatcha doin" were:

1. Cutting up pigz hearts and stuffing them in jars of blood broth

2. Stirring a big vat of fat

But even that didn't scare someone off the phone. So I started telling them that about the soon-to-be liver pate that was seasoning in the fridge. And how The Big Man thought it was a bowl of cranberry sauce. You can imagine how that went. (He just covered it back up and put it back in the fridge - at this point he knows better.)

Happy Thursday everyone! Go meat!


Autumn said...

Pie crusts made with leaf lard taste way better than crusts with vegetable shortening! How many pounds did you have after rendering?

freemotion said...

Yay on all the hog loot! We are grinding and rendering today (got about half done yesterday) too. Glorious pig!

Veggie PAK said...

That's a lot of work you have accomplished there! Great job!

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

Everything is going and looking fine, that leaf lard is my envy for making pies, I suck making pie crusts :o( I remember when I got five gallons of lard from my in laws and didn't know what to do with it (being a city girl) it would get ransomed, I learned to make soap later when I couldn't get it :o)..

Sonja said...

Whoever said fat and leavings weren't beautiful didn't know what they were talking about.

The dogs are going to be very happy with those yums.

Enjoy your pate.

darius said...

I've enjoyed reading your several days of meat processing... kuddos!

Wendy said...

Did you pressure can the dog broth, or freeze that as well?

Loving these posts! Thanks for sharing!

David said...

Pate by the pint? Oh Lard! Delicousness ensued.

ann from ky said...

how do you store your lard?

Ohiofarmgirl said...

I dunno, Autumn, I've got all my little tubs lined up. I should count them.

Thanks, Free! whoot! Cant wait to read more about all the work you are doing. :-)

Thanks VPak.. its a lot of fun. And you get to see your progress as you go along. Its a real feeling of accomplishment.

Ginny, its it funny how everything old is new again? I think more folks are interested in lard and pork belly. I've seen your baking and I'm guessing folks would push each other down to get some of your pies!

Thanks Sonja, the dogs are so happy and the pate was great. Its a breakfast food to, ya know. hee hee hee

Darius, thanks so much! Glad you are reading along. Let me know if you have questions or if there is something I can cover for you.

Thanks Wendy! Glad you are enjoying this series. I'm hoping folks can see that real people can do this. I did not pressure can this batch for the dogs - but I have another kettle that I'll do today. The only reason that I didnt was because it was late and I wanted to go to bed. ha!

And how, Dave, and how.... its a great way to store it. It can be canned but I wanted to add some breadcrumbs so I just froze these little gems. Easy and fun.

Hi Ann! I store the lard in those little gladlock containers in the freezer. I use the leaf lard especially in baking and most of the time you need it well chilled. I understand you can keep it in a cool dark place - but I don't have a cellar. Freezing is easy. And then I always have at least one tub in the fridge for frying and such. Next summer when I'm swimming in zucch's I'll be frying them up in this lard. yum!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...