I’m not young but I do eat lard – though it is a recent event. Until now I have always used a liquid vegetable oil for cooking thinking it was better for me. Now I am not so sure. But health benefits aside, it is the plastic element of oil that bothers me.
Pre-packed oils always have a plastic element – if it comes in bottles it will have a plastic lined cap and probably a plastic pouring widget in the bottle top. Buy it in cans and there will be more plastic caps plus the cans are plastic lined. Some places will do refills but they are few, far between and very expensive.
Then I saw some beef dripping, in a paper wrapper, on the shelves in Tesco’s. I didn’t know beef dripping still existed and chances are it is not real greaseproof paper. * But if it plastic lined it is impossible to spot. And it was made in the U.K. ….. but felt uncomfortable with the idea!
We have been told for so long that animals fats are bad for us. Even now, when it turns out that hydrogenated vegetable fats are probably worse and soya is something of an environmental disaster, the prejudice still holds. I could not shake the idea that cooking with lard would lead to an instant hardening of the arteries but it was cheap which always sways me.
So I bought it and cooked my way though a block of dripping using it where I would have cooked with oil.
I thought it might be heavy and greasy but it wasn’t. And it fried really well. So I went to buy some more. They had run out. All they had was lard.
LARD!!! now that has to be piggy (it is made from pigs), oily and – well – lardy.
It wasn’t. It was fine, better than fine it was really easy and made great roasties.
I have cooked with it for months now but in secret. The other day I got caught and the kitchen rang with squeals of horror. But, quickly forgetting my own early misgivings, leapt to lards defence. I told them if we eat meat so we eat the rest of the animal including the fat, we hardly ever shallow fry, never deep fry and for weeks no one noticed. It’s really cheap, plastic-free, made in the U.K. Plus it may even be better for you.
So now we eat lard and dripping. And we are happy!
You can get lard from Tesco’s and the Co-op and everywhere else I bet, Buy it in the paper not foil as foil is definitely plastic lined!
*Natural greaseproof paper does not have any chemical treatments or coatings. It can be recycled, composted or burnt. Other kinds of greaseproof paper are normal paper that been coated with another material usually a fine layer of plastic or chemically treated with a variety of chemicals. Read more…