Why We Love to Cook With Lard

Bolder than butter and the best thing for tender biscuits, lard’s an old fashioned fat worth keeping around

By SAVEUR Editors

Published on September 30, 2016

At the Viva Taco bus in Turlock, Silvestre Valencia adds jalapeño pickling liquid to the pork braise, which tenderizes the meat and keeps it from drying out. Get the recipe for Carnitas Tacos (Michoacán-Style Braised Pork Tacos) »

Chicken is braised in a brick-red sauce of sweet paprika and chicken stock in our version of a classic Hungarian dish. Get the recipe for Chicken Paprikash (Paprikás Csirke) »

A paprika-laced roux of lard, flour, and sour cream transforms a simple bean and ham soup into something luxurious. Get the recipe for Hungarian Ham and Bean Soup »

Braise pork ribs with a homey, vegetable-rich sauce with a touch of heat, and use the leftovers for tacos. Get the recipe for Mexican Rib Stew »

What do you make with a lot of leftover tortillas? Not just tortilla soup, but how about tortilla dumplings? These dumplings, from Mexican cooking sage Josefina Velázquez de León, get pan-seared, then simmered in a rich cream of tomato soup. Get the recipe for Mexican Tortilla Ball Soup »

These cookies are delicate and crumbly with a light dusting of spicy, sweet cinnamon sugar. It's worth seeking out fresh lard, often carried by butcher shops; it's more flavorful than the supermarket variety. Get the recipe for Anise Seed Cookies (Bizcochitos) »

Amy Thielen has discovered the ultimate secret to perfectly crackly skin and supremely juicy, rich roast chicken meat: pork. Get the recipe for Amy Thielen's Improved Roast Chicken »

In this classic Roman braise, lean cuts of veal or beef are slow-cooked in a tomato sauce enriched with red wine and perfumed by whole cloves. Get the recipe for Beef Braised with Tomatoes and Cloves »

Most gumbos begin with a roux—a flavorful thickener made by cooking fat with flour. But there are as many ways to make a gumbo as there are cooks in Louisiana. Many versions of the dish, especially those of Creole origin, are made without a roux; this one uses a combination of tomatoes and okra as a thickener. While adding tomatoes to gumbo is heresy in many Cajun kitchens, Creole cooks are fans of the bright, sweet complexity they add to the dish—and so are we. Get the recipe for Creole Okra Gumbo »

In his version of Chilean empanadas, chef Rodolfo Guzmán of Boragó replaces lean ground chuck with rich beef short ribs, which make each bite tender. Get the recipe for Beef Short Ribs Empanadas »

Chickpeas are bolstered with spicy sausage and three kinds of meat in a filling stew served at País das Uvas in Vila de Frades, Portugal. Get the recipe for Chickpea Stew with Lamb, Pork, and Veal (Cozido de Grão) »

Known everywhere—except in Hungary—as goulash, this stew is made with a generous amount of paprika and cook down until the meat is fork-tender. Get the recipe for Hungarian Braised Beef with Paprika (Pörkölt) »

For this dish, pork and fresh clams are braised in an aromatic mixture of wine, tomato, and red pepper paste. Get the recipe for Braised Pork and Clams (Porco à Alentejana) »

This Neapolitan savory pie, a traditional Easter Day treat, is filled with meat, cheese, and eggs. Get the recipe for Pizza Chiena »

Pan-seared and shallow braised in an aromatic sauce of white wine perfumed with juniper—the key flavoring component of gin—and rosemary. Get the recipe for Braised Pork with Juniper Berries »

Rosemary adds a subtle, herbal undertone to a gooey caramel sauce that gets stirred into tart apples in this sophisticated yet all-American dessert. Get the recipe for Rosemary-Caramel Apple Pie »

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