Griebenschmalz, Almost Famous No Awards Yet


Griebenschmalz, Almost Famous No Awards Yet. My wife condemned that recipe right away as “unhealthy” and told me to avoid it like the plague.

Nowadays, we all tend to think of food in terms of numbers like calories, etc. This is a good thing, as it connects us with our food on a more informational level and empowers us to make informed decisions. However, since we ultimately eat to live, why not also eat mindfully with pleasure and enjoyment?




Griebenschmalz for me is a culinary trip down memory lane, awesome stuff full of flavor that brings back childhood memories. Griebenschmalz needs to be in an “almost famous – no awards yet” category. Anybody questioning that needs to know that not long ago, lard was the fat people cooked with, there was no olive oil or Canola oil, and rendered pork fat was used for cooking and baking.

Rendering lard is in our fat-free — lean cuisine-centered culture a worthwhile forgotten technic. Maybe it is time to go back to those time-honored foods and lard in case you did not know contains less saturated fat than butter. The trick of cooking good lard is to cook slow and low, if the fat gets cooked too hot it gets the pig flavor and good lard should be snow white and odorless.


Eating in moderation:

Here is my take, there is nothing wrong with pork fat, it has the flavor and is not less healthy than other fats and like everything else eating it in moderation is fine, eating a lot of it is bad. To be honest I have no plans to replace the extra virgin olive oil that I use in my pasta dishes with rendered pork fat.

Sometimes I have a hard time translating German words into English and Griebeschmalz is one of them,  a word like that does not even exist in the English Language and the closest translation I found is crackling fat, what an “appetizing” name for a recipe. I grew up with that stuff and cooking it again and having a few jars of that DELICIOUS Pork fat in the refrigerator brings back memories.


I was searching for high-quality solid white kidney fat for some time and Mint Greek Farm had exactly what I was looking for. Mint Creek Farm is a 220-acre farm stocked with free-range grass-fed pigs, cows, goats, and poultry in Stelle Illinois. One of the many benefits of purchasing pastured pork from a local family farmer like Mint Greek Farm is that the kidney fat from that animal will be rich in omega-3 fatty acids, it is one of the richest sources of vitamin C and has vitamin E and A.

Not only will it allow us to absorb those important nutrients and vitamins, but its flavor will be unlike any pork flavor you have ever had, it is very little processed and does not have or need any preservatives. The day I ordered my kidney fat from the Mint Greek farm stands at the Andersonville Farmers Market, I got that surprised look, I guess purchasing pork kidney fat is not an everyday order. 



German farmhouse food:

It may sound strange however Griebenschmalz, a traditional German farmhouse food, spread at room temperature on a pretzel bun or crusty farmers’ bread and sprinkled with a little sea salt is a slice of heaven. I grew up with that stuff and cooking it again and having a few jars of that DELICIOUS Pork fat in the refrigerator brings back memories. 

Griebenschmalz was always on our table I don’t remember having butter on the table, it was the go-to spread for us. I always strain some of the lard into mason jars without the grieben and reserve it for making biscuits or pie crusts, try it one day,  lard will give you the flakiest pie crust ever


Griebenschmalz, Almost Famous No Awards Yet

Chef Norbert
The trick of cooking good lard is to cook slow and low, if the fat gets cooked too hot it gets the pig flavor and good lard should be snow white and odorless.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cuisine German
Servings 24 oz
Calories 428 kcal


  • 2.5 lb pork kidney fat
  • 8 fl oz water
  • 1 medium onion peeled and diced


Trim the fat

  • Trim away any pieces of meat from the kidney fat and cut or grind the fat into small pieces. The smaller you cut the pieces the better yield will be
    2.5 lb pork kidney fat
  • Add 1 cup of water to the pot and add the kidney fat
    8 fl oz water

Cook it low and slow

  • Cook at very low heat, when the fat starts to melt it will separate itself from the cracklings or grieben. To get that snow-white fat, what you don't want to happen is for the fat to start overheating and to brown, so keep it LOW and SLOW It takes little patience because of the low heat nothing happens in the beginning however suddenly you will see a little fat on the bottom of your pot, keep stirring as you render the fat and you are on your way.
  • Once the grieben starts to settle on the bottom of the pot, it's done Laddle the melted fat into a strainer to separate the melted fat from the grieben. The grieben should be not crispy, they should be ground-like and soft. Add diced onions to a pan and sauté with 1 tablespoon of lard over medium heat until they are nicely browned.
    1 medium onion

Fill the Mason jars

  • Mix the reserved grieben with browned onions and add the mixture to mason jars. It is easier to fill the mason jars with the grieben first and then top them with the melted lard. Let jars cool on the counter, close with lid, and place in refrigerator


Serving: 1oz | Calories: 428kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.4g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 7mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.2g

Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate

Keyword Lard
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  1. I want to make pie crusts with lard. Besides Andersonville FM, do you have another source. And how long will it keep. I am on the Northshore of Chicagoland.

    1. Norbert bomm says:

      FYY I found rendered lard at Paulina’s Meat market in Chicago located at Lincoln avenue and Paulina.

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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