The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

leaf lard

inkedbaker's picture
inkedbaker

leaf lard

Rendered my first ever batch of leaf lard, and baked 2 loaves of white bread with it........I will never use butter or store bought lard again.....cant wait to use it in a pie crust. Such a simple thing to do, a little hard to find mind you, but well worth the foot work. If you're interested in making your own lard, here is how I did it!

3 pounds of leaf lard

1/2 cup of water

heat dutch oven or pot over medium low heat, add 1/2 cup of water (this prevents lard from burning and will evaporate as the lard renders).Cut the leaf into 1/2 inch cubes. Simmer until you start to hear popping sounds, which is normal, it's just the water leaving the meat bits in the lard. I removed mine immediately and strained it thru a cheese cloth. The left over bits of browned meat are a really good treat, so do not throw them away, I used my left over bits to make a traditional potted French Canadian meat called Cretons (if you'd like the recipe i'd be happy to share it with you). The entire rendering process took roughly an hour and I stored mine in Zip lock tuperware containers when it cooled slightly, this lard needs to be stored in the refrigerator or frozen. 

Happy rendering!

Comments

lumos's picture
lumos

Home rendered lard tastes and smells so much better. Have you tried using it to confit potatoes? It's dangerously divine! ;)

 

inkedbaker's picture
inkedbaker

now those sound good!! do tell!

lumos's picture
lumos

There're lots of different recipes for confit of potato, some uses butter, others duck fat or lard.  I usually use duck fat, but lard one is great, too.

One example of the recipe

If you google, you'll find lots more. :)

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

This may sound as a dumb question, but I never heard of leaf lard.  Is this the same as "fat back"?  I don't know where the term fat back came from.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

It seems like there are various grades of lard, leaf lard being the highest grade (the best lard).

If also has a higher rendering/melting point (43–48 °C (109–118 °F)). Fatback is 30–40 °C (86–104 °F).

Lard can be obtained from any part of the pig as long as there is a high concentration of fatty tissue. The highest grade of lard, known as leaf lard, is obtained from the "flare" visceral fat deposit surrounding the kidneys and inside the loin. Leaf lard has little pork flavor, making it ideal for use in baked goods, where it is valued for its ability to produce flaky, moist pie crusts. Source. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lard

inkedbaker's picture
inkedbaker

the leaf comes from the fat surrounding the pigs kidneys and near the loin area. In my search for the lard, it seems to be found only in a butcher shop that butchers the animals on site. I found it at The Healthy Butcher in Toronto, Ontario.

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

and yet so beckoning :)

jaywillie's picture
jaywillie

I tried leaf lard in pie crusts for a short while -- and I make a good pie :) -- and didn't like it, at least for dessert pies. It brought a flavor to my palate that just didn't mix well with sweets. That's just me, of course, and YMMV. It might be much better in savory pies, which for some reason I never tried. And I found that even in the freezer, in an airtight metal container, it went bad very quickly. Like in a couple months.

Leaf lard in bread sounds like a better match to me. I'll have to try that.

If others want to try it without rendering it, Mexican groceries are a good source. It's a staple of Mexican cooking, as I understand it. Not all carry it, but some do. Some butcher shops sell it as well.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

...that it imparts no distinctive flavour or that it's as neutral in flavour as shortening?

I suppose maybe the lack of butter (or other flavoured fat) could have contributed to what you experienced.

 

linder's picture
linder

My mom told me that in days gone by, frequently, the neighborhood women would get together and render lard.  I'm not sure how they managed to preserve it.  I am guessing that they got the pig fat from neighborhood butchers (my uncle was one of them) and rendered away! They used it in just about everything - Grandma lived to the ripe old age of 102 and her sister to 107!

inkedbaker's picture
inkedbaker

My mother is from rural Quebec and they used Leaf Lard in a wide variety of French Canadian dishes, I recently used it to make Cretons, a kind of a pate, similar to a liver pate. 

inkedbaker's picture
inkedbaker

I stop the rendering before the lard turns a golden color and the lard is white, then I proceed to straining it through the cheese cloth...if using the lard in a savory dish, then let the rendering proceed until the lard is golden

inkedbaker's picture
inkedbaker

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

3 cups unbleached bread flour

1/3 cup white sugar

2 cups warm water

1/4 cup of leaf lard melted and cooled slightly

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1 tablespoon of agave nectar

1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast

In the bowl of your mixer, mix together the warm water, agave nectar, sugar and yeast, proof for 5 minutes or until foamy. Add the salt and leaf lard and blend. Switch to the dough hook and blend the flour in 1 cup at a time, you may need to turn the dough out onto your work surface to incorporate the final cups of dough. Knead dough until smooth, roughly 10 minutes. Grease a bowl with the lard and place the dough into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof for an hour or until it has doubled at room temperature. When dough has doubled, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and deflate. Knead it for a few minutes. Divide into 2 equal portions and shape each portion into loaves. Grease 2 9"x5" loaf pans with a small amount of the lard.Place into pans, cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to double in size or until the dough has risen an inch or so above the top of the pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Remove plastic from dough and place loaves into oven with rack in the middle position, mist the inside of the oven with water and bake for 30 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when they are tapped, turning the loaves half way through. Remove from loaf pans and cool on a rack.

inkedbaker's picture
inkedbaker

I will post pics of the bread on Sunday. I make 2 loaves with the lard every weekend and they are usually gone by wednesday night....

ioa's picture
ioa

Hello,

Does anyone know the equivalent term in French, for leaf lard?

Thanks,

Ioana.

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Saindeux.

Wild-Yeast

ioa's picture
ioa

Dear Wild-Yeast,

Thanks a lot for your prompt reply. Is "saindeux" the word for lard or leaf lard?

ioa

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Saindeux is commonly available in France and from what I remember was made from rendered pork fat. It's used in a lot of pastry and cookie recipes. It's use is in line with its common use in English recipes.

Whether it is made from leaf fat [internal organ fat] or not - is shall we say, "qui sait?"...,

Wild-Yeast