Many old-fashioned recipes require cooking with lard. Despite its demonized reputation, lard is actually better for your health than processed vegetable oils. Leaf lard is the highest grade of lard that comes from the area around the kidneys and loin of the pig. It has a soft, spreadable consistency at room temperature and because it's the most pure form of pork lard it's best used for baking flaky, tender pie crusts, crispy cookies and muffins when you don't want the finished product to have any pork taste at all. When you purchase lard in this form, it will require rendering but it's super easy! See the FAQ section for instructions on how to do that. If you've never eaten foods cooked with lard, you're in for a pleasant surprise!
If you've never tried pasture raised pork, a package of pork chops is a fantastic place to start. The flavour will be completely different than the chops you get in the supermarket! Great on the grill or cast iron pan or baked in the oven in a casserole. Packages are 1-1.5lb each.
When life gives you pastured pork lard, make soap!!
In years past we were never able to sell all of the pork lard from our pigs and instead of letting this beautiful and often misunderstood product go to waste, I now turn some of it into soap! I use pork lard as the hardening fat in my soaps - it's what makes the bar hard so it doesn't turn into a pile of glop when you leave it in your shower. The lard also makes a lovely, creamy lather and is very moisturizing. I've dabbled with a few different recipes, Rosemary Citrus, Mocha, Lavender / Ylang Ylang, Tea tree oil, Lemon Poppyseed and Grapefruit / Bergamot to name a few.