What do I do with a 20lb bag of raw unrendered mixed pork fat?
November 16, 2011 3:45 PM   Subscribe

Say hypothetically, that you had half of a pigs worth of unrendered and raw pork fat trimmings in your freezer, apparently about 20 lbs, that your butcher handed you when they returned the rest of your, now disassembled, half pig. What would you do with it?

The obvious first step is to render at least most of it into lard, but what can you do with that much lard other than throw out and replace all of your artificially hydrogenated vegetable shortening?

Some technical challenges include:
-The fact that it is all in one bag and is likely unseparated fatback and lard leaf.
-The cooking will happen in Shelton, WA, thus ideally ingredients should be findable in a small town with a significant Hispanic population, though trips to Seattle can be made.
-The belly fat is currently curing into bacon
-It is Shelton, and the chefs even live on and operate a small shellfish farm, but the poor wretches have developed a distaste for seafood in its ubiquity.

Assume that there is already a detailed understanding of mammalian fat metabolism as well as an educated decision regarding the effects of lard consumption on human health and the soul.
posted by Blasdelb to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Are you familiar with salo?
posted by wondermouse at 3:48 PM on November 16, 2011

Can any of this product work as suet? Because, TRADITIONAL ENGLISH PUDDINGS! NOM!

(I know, it's supposed to be beef suet, but hey, fat is, um, fat, sorta)

Many recipes in this book ... !
posted by zomg at 3:48 PM on November 16, 2011

I'd cozy up to some duck hunters, get some wild duck breast and make duck sausages.
posted by jamaro at 3:51 PM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I came here to say salo as well, although I think that requires the backfat and leaf to be separated. Maybe not, though!
posted by griphus at 3:54 PM on November 16, 2011

Response by poster: Also, the mystery fat bag is currently frozen and on the other side of the continent so I can't really check it, but we should be able to pick apart obvious pieces of each variety for fat location specific purposes when it thaws right?
posted by Blasdelb at 4:07 PM on November 16, 2011

You have 20 lbs of lard and a large Hispanic population? Cook some real Mexican food!
posted by WeekendJen at 4:09 PM on November 16, 2011

Make soap.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:36 PM on November 16, 2011

Sausage, pastry, cooking medium. Certainly in Mexican food

Wouldn't sub for Suet though - different mouthfeel.

Save the fat from the kidney to render for lard for pies and frying. You don't need to render the fat for sausage or cured fat.
posted by JPD at 4:39 PM on November 16, 2011

nthing the salo, but have you browsed through East Asian cuisines for options? Some examples from Singapore:

Fragrant pork lard char mee

or deep crisply fried (like onions) to sprinkle on a wide variety of food.

Seattle should have anything you can't find in the local grocery
posted by infini at 4:58 PM on November 16, 2011

What can you make with all that lard? I'd start by putting up a bunch of pots of pork rillettes to enjoy throughout the year, or to give as gifts to other porklovers.
posted by Lisitasan at 5:02 PM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Are you willing to share some with the birds? If so, they enjoy suet as much as humans do. Just hang it in a normal suet feeder (or nail it to a tree, if it's attached to skin). It does tend to get rancid if it's not cold enough out, though, so it's strictly a winter thing.
posted by pie ninja at 5:09 PM on November 16, 2011

Make a shit ton of charcuterie and then invite me over.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:16 PM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by brujita at 5:43 PM on November 16, 2011

One of the main reasons I don't eat pig is horrid olfactory memories of my dad rendering lard when I was a kid. It. is. fucking. disgusting. Srsly. It's bad enough that some municipalities have bylaws against rendering lard. Do it outside, as far away from anything/anyone, and basically be prepared to have your clothes and hair smell of pigshit death trauma.

(I say this as a happy meat eater, not someone on a veggie guilt trip. Well, a happy meat eater who's about to retire to a corner and retch into a bucket for a bit at the memory of THE SMELL ...)
posted by scruss at 5:57 PM on November 16, 2011

Hoof grease
posted by flabdablet at 6:11 PM on November 16, 2011

Make sausages. Seriously. Aside from the 'I've minced and encased meat into delicious cylinders' feeling of general badassery, the look of awe when your friends realize you are capable of creating such things? It's all kinds of warm yeah. Get yourself some decent pork shoulder, and go to town.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:30 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Use the back fat to make cured lardo.
posted by roofus at 2:56 AM on November 17, 2011

Heaven in a Pie Pan from the NY Times on lard and baking.
posted by shoesietart at 9:21 AM on November 17, 2011

Pie ninja: I don't know if the birds mind but I'm fairly certain that suet is fat from beef or mutton.
posted by Lisitasan at 11:54 AM on November 17, 2011

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