Griebenschmalz, Almost Famous No Awards Yet

Griebenschmalz, Almost Famous No Awards Yet

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My wife condemned that recipe right away as “unhealthy” and told me to avoid it like the plague. In our days we all think of our food in terms of numbers like calories , etc., what is a good thing, it connects us in more debt with our food  and empowers us to make decisions in our relationships we have with food. However we all eat to live so why not eat mindful with pleasure and enjoyment. 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 then butter

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Griebenschmalz for me is a culinary trip down the memory lane, awesome stuff full of flavor that brings back child hood memories. Griebenschmalz needs to be in a “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, rendered pork fat was used for cooking and baking.

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Here is my take, there is nothing wrong with pork fat, it has flavor and is not less healthier than other fats and like everything else eating it in moderation is fine, eating a lot of it is a bad and 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 exists in the English Language and the closets translation I found is crackling fat, what an “appetizing” name for a recipe.

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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 as a matter of fact I don’t remember having butter on the table, it was the go to spread for us.

I was searching for some time for high quality solid white kidney fat 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 located 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 it’s flavor will be unlike any pork flavor you have ever had, it is very little processed and does not have or need any preservatives.

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The day I ordered my kidney fat from the Mint green stand at the Andersonville Farmers market, I got that surprise look, I guess purchasing pork kidney fat is not  an every day order. The trick of cooking a good lard is to cook slow and low, if the fat gets cooked to hot it gets the pig flavor and a good lard should be snow white and odorless. DSC6023

DSC6132I strained some of the lard into mason jars without the grieben and reserved it for making biscuits or pie crusts, try it one day,  lard will give you the flakiest pie crust ever.

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. 

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