Lard and Its Cracklin’

Go get yourself some lard and don’t make any apologies.
December 12, 2016


Trim the fat of all meat and any other bits that aren’t purely fat.

Mince the fat through the coarse disk of a mincer.

Put it in a large pan with the water; the pan should be big enough to hold at least twice the volume of the fat.

Place over a high heat until the fat starts to melt and the water is bubbling, then reduce the heat to low and allow the fat to render, stirring occasionally. The water will evaporate during the rendering process. The lower and slower the process is, the whiter your lard will be.

When nearly all the lumps of fat have dissolved and broken down, they will begin to caramelize and become crackling. Once they have reached a golden color, strain away the fat and pour it into a sterilized jar. Cover and leave to cool, then chill.

Refrigerate the crackling until ready to use.

About this recipe

"I have a saying that cooking without lard is downright dishonest in the Southern kitchen. My hunch is that most Southern ‘grandmothers’ secrets’ can be attributed to the use of the right fat. Go get yourself some lard and don’t make any apologies. Your guests will be thanking you for everything they don’t know." -- Brad McDonald, author of Deep South: New Southern Cooking.

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  • 2kg (4 1/2 lb) pork fat (preferably leaf lard, also known as flare fat)
  • 240ml (1/2 pint) water
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