December 4, 2018 at 12:25 pm #5865
So, today I am rendering down 4lbs of pork fat. This is pork taken from my own hogs.
Back fat is the best for rendering. But if SHTF, use everything! So, in my case, I have back fat, fat I trimmed from making bacon, or pork belly. Use everything! If you leave the skin on, you will have pork cracklings. Some people love it. Me, not so much.
Take the fat, keep it well chilled or even partially frozen. Makes cutting it up easier. Cut up into 1/4 pieces, or slices. Put into a heavy pot or cast iron dutch oven. I am using the latter. Add 1/3 cup of water per pound of fat. The water keeps the fat from burning before it begins to render.
Bake in the oven at 250 degrees. After 30 minutes, stir the fat. Then stir again 45 minutes later. After that, every hour. Note, depending on how much, how you cut the fat, it can take a few to up to 8hrs. Today, I am going to be here awhile.
Pork confit. Most are most familiar with duck confit. But you can nearly confit any meat. I have even seen a few recipes for confit lemons. Might try that one later. Anyways, today, or maybe tomorrow, I am taking two of my own pork porterhouse steaks. You dont see these often in most grocery stores as they took the loin that makes up the steaks. Think, beef porterhouse steak or a t-bone and that is what I am working with. If you want, you can flavor confit. Garlic, onions, herbs, have at it! But as this is my first time, I am keeping it simple: Salt and pepper on the steaks.
Once the fat has rendered, I will pour off enough to cover both steaks in a pan in a single layer. Then cook the steaks in the fat over a low, and slow heat until the meat falls away from the bone easily with a fork. Pack the meat and the fat in a canning jar, making sure the fat completely covers the meat and seal it. Let it sit for a few days to a few weeks and then reheat and eat.
Note, prior to refrigeration, preserving meat this way was not uncommon. Kept in a cool, dark place, the meat was preserved for months at a time. And, you can reuse the fat to make more confit! Based off my readings, anywhere from a few to several times. So, this may be a better option than canning meat. Something to think about.
Fat in cast iron dutch oven. Eggs for scale.
- This topic was modified 3 years ago by Crow Bar.
December 4, 2018 at 1:31 pm #5874namelusParticipant
The pork lard makes nearly perfect no sud soaps.
I feed the left over rendered pieces bit by bit into dog food. Also makes good fishing bait.
December 4, 2018 at 4:02 pm #5883Atypical SapienParticipant
Crow bar: What breed pigs do you have? Do you have a preference? I was also wondering about lard pigs. Some articles that I have read differentiates between lard and bacon pigs.
December 4, 2018 at 4:45 pm #5887
Oh, as for breed, I get mine from a friend who overwinters a breed pair. Dont recall the breed but it is a cross.
Also, my hogs are on pasture from about May till late Oct or early Nov. About 80% of their calories come from what is on pasture. Unfortunately I cannot overwinter so I have to give them feed to supplement to bring them up to weight by fall. And they need the vitamins and minerals supplement.
I can tell you this, my hogs have a more porky flavor than commercial store bought. While most found it to be fantastic, some have found it off putting.
You are correct in the difference between a lard vs a bacon hog. Unfortunately, over the past few decades hogs have been breed more for meat vs lard. I recall an article about China manipulating genes for even leaner hogs. IMHO, in a post SHTF world, a lard hog will have a lot more value. IMHO, it is not how many bullets you have or what tricked out rifle you have, but access to fresh water and calories will determine if you survive.
December 4, 2018 at 4:52 pm #5888namelusParticipant
- I found best bacon hog is black pig breed, best eating is bershire. With bershire you need to watch calorie intake as if you feed too much they get very fatty, our pasture raise with pea oats and barley 1/3 mix take about 7 months to reach 125-150lb skinned carcass weight.
Crow bar did you take the leaf fat from around the kidneys it’s the best fat on the pig, use it like butter for cooking oil.
- This reply was modified 3 years ago by namelus.
December 5, 2018 at 9:21 am #5910Old GoatParticipant
Excellent, love all the input on the pigs and confit couldn’t find an article on making the confit just references to it. Thanks! Have to add it to my old greezer notes for my kids
December 5, 2018 at 9:30 am #5912
We use the leaf fat for baking generally.
December 5, 2018 at 9:37 am #5913
Well in using the large dutch oven, I had to use the lower of the double oven we have. It runs a little hotter.
So, the fat got a little roasted!
December 5, 2018 at 9:38 am #5914
After I strained it.
December 5, 2018 at 9:40 am #5915
And this is the fat in the canning jar. That is a quart sized jar, minus the fat I used to cook the pork steaks in.
January 15, 2019 at 4:55 pm #8163
And we are back!
So, after a month sitting in the pantry, the pork chops in their jar, sealed with lard, I heated it on the stove top in a pan of water.
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