Lard has gotten a bad rap in the past, but as more and more people simplify their diets and cut refined and processed ingredients out, lard is slowly but surely making a comeback! There are many reasons for lard’s new-found success in the American diet. Here a few of those reasons:
- 1. Lard is a heat stable and can be used at a very high smoke point. This means that it can easily reach upwards of 500 degrees F without burning. It’s great for frying and is virtually flavorless so it does not impart any taste of its own. Low smoke point oils tend to burn at high temps and can become carcinogenic. Lard is a great choice for high heat cooking!
- 2. Lard is great for baking. Many grandmothers will tell you that the secret to the best pie crust is lard. Lard lends tenderness and moisture to baked goods and is a great alternative to butter.
- 3. Here at HL we render lard from the pigs we butcher in our meat department. This effort ensures that we use every single part of the animal and that nothing gets thrown out. Meat sold for eating, bones used for stock and fat rendered as lard. Nose to tail butchery is something we are proud of because it shows the ultimate respect to the animal and is economically sustainable.
- 4. Did you know that lard is high in vitamin D? 1 tablespoon of lard contains 1000 IU of vitamin D! YAY! New research on lard and fats in general are showing overwhelming results that fat does not in fact make you fat! On the contrary, only 40% of lard is saturated fat and many experts argue that eating some saturated fat is good for overall health – that it does not increase your risk for heart disease and it increases HDL (good) cholesterol. Of course it’s important to remember “everything in moderation.” Lard isn’t the answer to overall healthy, but combined with a healthy diet and exercise it is an excellent choice! We offer our own house-made lard, and lard from EPIC.
Here’s a recipe we LOVE from Chef David Chang. We’ve used this recipe in our Cooking the Book: Momofuku cooking classes.
Momofuku Steamed Buns
- 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups water at room temperature
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour
- 6 Tbsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp nonfat dry milk powder
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- Rounded 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Pork lard; as needed for shaping buns
Combine all ingredients except for lard in the bowl of a Kitchen Aid fitted with a dough hook. On the lowest setting, mix dough for about 10 minutes. Lightly oil a medium bowl and place dough in it, covered with a dry towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Once risen, cut dough in half and then cut each half into five pieces. Gently roll the pieces into logs and then cut logs into 5 equal pieces. Cover dough balls with saran wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Once risen flatten one ball with the palm of your hand and then roll into a 4 inch oval. Dip your chopstick in lard and then place in the middle of oval. Fold the dough in half to make the shape of a taco, shimmy out chopstick and place on a parchment square. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Cover with saran wrap and let rest for 30 more minutes. Set up steamer on stove. Working in batches, stream buns for 10 minutes.
- Sliced pork belly
- Cucumber quick pickles
- Sliced scallion
- Sriracha; if desired