Homemade lard. Make the best roasted potatoes you've ever had!
You've got to love lard!
Man, lard has it tough. Adding the word lard to anything in a restaurant menu is like the kiss of death...people just don't like the sound of eating lard.
That's too bad, because foods cooked in a bit of lard are incredible; and lard is much better for you than any of those trans fats loaded margarines or vegetable shortenings, and it even has half the cholesterol of butter!
Avoid packaged lard, as it's usually hydrogenated, and is a really poor substitute for the real thing. Make your own, it's really easy and will last you for months.
There's not too much point in listing the ingredients here, as there is only one; Pig fat. Visit your butcher or supermarket meat counter and ask for pork fat scraps. They should either give it away for free, or they'll charge next to nothing for it.
Take the pork fat and cut into 1 inch pieces. Heat a bid heavy pot or deep skillet over medium low heat and add all the pork fat to it. Let it render away for about an hour, stirring occasionally. When all that is left is liquid fat and crispy pork rind looking bits, you are done.
Let the fat cool a bit, remove the crisped bits of fat, and refrigerate the cooled fat.
Once it has chilled in the fridge, it will turn a creamy pure white, and be ready for use. This will keep for months well refrigerated.
The best roasted potatoes you've ever had
The secret to these potatoes is the lard. It will add an astonishing richness and depth to everyday roasted potatoes.
Slice some potatoes into wedges and add to a good heavy baking sheet. Add a couple of heaping spoonfuls of lard, and sprinkle the potatoes with salt. Throw into a preheated 375 oven for about an hour (shake them every once in a while, especially at the beginning, to make sure they get coasted in the hot lard and don't stick). You can also add a bit of fresh rosemary or thyme here, but these potatoes are good enough on their own!
They're done when they are tender on the inside and richly browned and crusted on the outside. Taste and season with additional salt as required.
Easy ten minute fried potato wedges
This is great for a family, but is especially easy when you're making a solo meal. Heat your potato until almost cooked in the microwave and slice into wedges. Heat a heavy skillet over medium and add an eight of an inch of lard over the bottom. When the fat is hot, add the potatoes and fry for a few minutes until rich and browned. Season with salt and you will be in heaven!
Lard is also a great substitute for vegetable shortening in any savory pastry recipe. It's also much healthier.
Once you have a jar of lard on hand you'll find that you use it all the time, and it will make your food taste better!