Update: This Giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Jill! Jill, please check your email for information on how to claim your prize.
Just a warning, friends: expect a lot of giveaways in the next several weeks. I spent last weekend at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup and was more than happy to bring home the bacon for NW Edible readers in terms of great book giveaways, fair swag and more.
And when I say “bring home the bacon,” I’m not being entirely figurative.
GRIT Magazine, the rural living sister publication to Mother Earth News magazine, just published a cookbook of heritage American recipes, all featuring lard. I think I’ve made my feelings on lard pretty well known – go lard! – and GRIT was kind enough offer a copy of the cookbook to one lucky reader, along with a complimentary one-year/6-issue subscription to GRIT Magazine.
Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient is a bit different from a standard issue cookbook because the recipes are collected from GRIT readers, who have been submitting their family faves since the magazine started publication in 1882.
Because of this, the historic nature of many of the recipes (World War II Honey Cookies, for example) and the periodic anecdotes from readers included in recipe sidebars, the cookbook has a very homey feeling, like your 85 year old neighbor from Oklahoma is leaning over the fence to share her recipe for Plum Dumplings.
It’s a very charming cookbook, but it leans heavily to the sweet, with 5 of the 7 chapters focusing on baked goods. In a way this isn’t too surprising – lard is an excellent fat for baking, rendering everything from biscuits to piecrust tender and flakey in just the right proportion.
The remaining chapters, Vegetables and Main Dishes tend toward the fried and the proudly non-gourmet, with the notable exception of Beef Wellington. Recipes like Potato Loaf, Easter Ham Pie and Old Fashioned Green Beans are the kind of frugal comfort food your grandma would have made, if your grandma grew up on a farm in West Virginia. I looked everywhere and there wasn’t a single blood orange gastrique or galangal-scented garlic foam in the entire book.
The inclusion of the occasional can of Cream of Something Soup in the savory recipes is going to make some readers cheer Viva Americana! and others shy away from that particular brand of retro. To each their own. Personally, I’m looking forward to making the honey-sweetened Cherry Pie a bit later in the season.
I made the Homemade Flour Tortillas and they were easy to make and work with. Homebrew Husband declared them the best tortillas he’d ever had and even though I generally make corn tortillas, I’d have to agree these were excellent.
To enter to win your own copy of Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient and a one-year subscription to GRIT Magazine, leave a comment below telling me your favorite recipe or way to use lard.
Drawing open until Wednesday, June 13th, 9 PM PST. Winner will be notified by Friday, June 15th. Drawing open to US residents, only, please. You can tell me as many ways as you like to use lard, but only one entry per person will be counted in the drawing to win the cookbook and magazine subscription.
My favorite way to use lard is in tamales! It is a necessity.
Rick S says
So, I’d say Tamales as well. However, as we found out, you must have good quality lard to make good, quality tamales. Most times that means NOT getting from a typical grocery store. Directly from a farmer is a great place to start, as are the independent markets that sell these types of items.
Pie crust, of course!
I’ve never tried cooking with lard, but maybe I’ll give the pie crust thing a try. Is it possible to get lard in small quantities, like butter, or do you have to commit to the rest of the pig?
Home fries! I also love how it seasons cast iron
This looks like the perfect answer to keeping my Greatgandmothers’ cookbook safe and usable! It’s from 1850 and is called “The Plucky Housewifes Guide” I have been using Crisco and Chicken Fat saved from the beer can style of roasting chickie…
I’ve never cooked with lard, but I use bacon grease often enough.
OK, that is a book that interests me, so I’ll enter. Actually, I’m a made-for-lard girl since Crisco and margarine (and mayo and everything else) are lovely GMO soy products and I am soy intolerant. Tortillas sound lovely, btw. (Tortillas in the US are also a fine soy product. Srsly.)
Favorite Recipe: Soap
24 oz Olive Oil
24 oz Coconut Oil
38 oz Lard
12.5 oz sodium hydroxide
dissolved in 32 oz water
Color and scent as you like.
Makes about 32 4 oz bars
(I have large tubs that read ‘manteca’ all through the garden…)
Meghan Finley says
I use in my pie crust. Just like grandma!
One of the things I like about my move to a big city is that non-processed lard is available in the grocery store. I use it in any recipe with beans and as the fat to cook leaner meats like ground turkey. I’m looking forward to the day that I can render my own from my own pigs!
Pie crusts and soap. Haven’t really tried it in anything else.
I just rendered lard for the first time last fall. When we took our pigs in and I told the butcher that I wanted all the extra fat, he gave me a very strange look… Guess he doesn’t get told that much, eh? Anyways, we use it in baking, and for anything pan fried. When we butchered our last round of chickens, we had the most outfreakinstanding liver and onions… Cooked in lard, of course. 🙂 I’m hoping to try soap this fall.
I have never used lard but would love to try!
I’ve taken to rendering my own lard. It’s easy-peasy and is less expensive when having organic lard is important to you. (Honestly, given that fat is the place where toxins like to get together … like the Toxin Bar and Grille, if you like, going organic can be considered pretty important. But only if such things matter to you.)
As to using it, I love using lard as an enrichment to my whole grain bread. I grind my own wheat (yes, I’m one of those), and fresh ground wheat + organic lard makes for a mighty fine loaf of bread.
And now I must go find a towel. The drool on my keyboard is making a mess….
I’ve had a bucket of lard that the hubby brought home sitting in my fridge for two months. I have NO idea what to do with it, and hubby’s getting frustrated! A book like this just might smooth the turbulent marriage waters…if I don’t win, I’ll check it out from the library.
I have never used lard, but after discovering all of it’s wonderful health benefits I am dying to try it out! I think the first thing I will use it for is frying or roasting veggies in. Yummy!
Kaitlin Jenkins says
I’ve never cooked with lard, I remember using it in baking pies with my grandma as a child but I’ve never brought it into my own home (shame). I need this book to teach me all the lardy goodness!
Ruth S says
Biscuits has to be at the top of the list for things that are better with lard. Anything you fry browns better with even just a little lard added to your oil. When my grease crock starts getting low, I render out some sliced fatback, to refill it, and store the fatback in the freezer. I throw in a piece of it when I’m cooking beans for seasoning. My dad ate bacon every day of his life, along with eggs, real butter on his biscuits, and whole milk. He never had heart trouble or high blood pressure. Mom did end up with high blood pressure in her 80’s.
Sister X says
Hands down, it’s pie crust. My mom always makes hers with Crisco, but after finding out all about trans fats years ago I looked around for something else. I tried butter, and it’s all right, but never quite got the flaky, tender amazingness that I got from my mom’s pie crust. Until lard came along. I was so hesitant to use it, but it’s truly amazing stuff. I even found a local butcher who uses locally raised pigs, to get lard from.
Now I want pie….
What have I used lard for? With my mother and sister-in-law, I have made cookies and piecrust. My mother and I made lye soap for the laundry, washing dishes and the “bath” (we didn’t have one): took sponge baths instead.
The soap was lovely for washing my skin and never dried it. I wasn’t so lucky with using it to wash my hair.
We fried vanity cakes from the “Laura Ingalls Wilder Cookbook “with lard. Made other doughnuts, too.
And we seasoned our cast iron frying pans with it, as well.
I’d like to try making a shampoo bar with the soap.
Prefer cooking with home rendered lard when it is available 🙂 It stores well in the freezer also 🙂
I know that whatever I make with lard I use the cast iron skillet my great-grandma handed down to me. I miss amazing biscuits and pancakes like she used to make them.
Easy. Grandma Esther’s No Fail Pie Crust! So unbelievably superior to any othe pie crust I’ve tried!!!
Dan Meyer says
I have not used lard. That’s why I really want the cookbook! Ed Wilsey from Homestead Natural’s just gave me some lard and I’m excited to use it.
Debby-Lee Ellis says
I love to use lard in soapmaking 😀 Lard and tallow make handmade soap awesome IMO.
Catherine L says
I don’t have recipe per se However, I have wanted to fry up some chicken using lard!
This is fantastic because today I bought lard for the first time ever, to make homemade tortillas tomorrow. And now I see your post on tortillas and lard, via Facebook. Excellent! My local butcher handed me his last container or pork lard and sounded so happy to hear of another lard lover 🙂 I’m excited for tomorrow’s dinner!
Rachel Brown says
I use lard to make whole wheat biscuits, when cooking turnip greens or swiss chard, and it’s a very tasty way to flavor cornmeal pudding! My family’s Choctaw recipe handed down from my great-grandmother using unfiltered lard from frying pork belly is as follows:
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups milk
1/2 cup coarse grind cornmeal
1/2 cup light molasses
2 tbs unfiltered lard/bacon grease
2 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
2 eggs, beaten
about 5 cups boiling water
Heat oven to 350F, grease 2 qt casserole dish. In a saucepan, heat milk until the edges begin to have bubbles, stir in cornmeal. Cook around 20 minutes on low, stirring, until it is very thick. Remove from heat and stir in maple, molasses, crumbled bacon, spices, salt, lard/bacon grease, and eggs. Pour into greased casserole, and place the casserole in a larger 13X9 pan. Place in oven, and pour the boiling water into the larger pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake for 80 to 90 minutes until knife or toothpick inserted between edge and center comes out clean. Remove smaller casserole and place it on a rack to cool for 2 hours. Serves 8.
loving lard – mostly for pie crusts but would love to branch out!
My favorite use for lard is using it to saute green beans, or brussels sprouts. My kids like to make homemade potato chips, coincidentally my husbands favorite as well. I would so like the Lard cookbook.
Hi, my favorite way to use lard is in Chinese-style stir fries. You know the kind: part of the flavor profile is the smoky, barely-scorched oil? Not a healthy way to use an unsaturated fat. Most Chinese culinary traditions prefer lard or duck fat for this purpose. It’s marvelous!
Erica, I would love to win this book. I have had it on my “save for later” list on Amazon since I read about it. My favorite way to use lard is to season my cast iron pans, and to fry veggies in. We rendered lard from the two pigs we butchered about 3 months ago. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!!
Jami Severstad says
I love to use lard for grilled cheese sandwiches and garlic bread. That beguiling crust it forms is simply magical. I also use it to make popcorn, saute veggies, and in my baking in place of shortening.
Lindsey w Nickell says
I actually use lard in soap making! I haven’t used it in a recipe in years but my grandma had a recipe for butter cookies that used lard. It unfortunately died with her and I’ve always meant to find a similar recipe!
(so a book like this would come in super handy-wink,wink!)