This is an easy way to render fat. I actually used chicken fat to make shmaltz, since we don't use lard. I used about 5 pounds of fat I had saved up over the last few months (stored in the freezer just for this purpose). You don't have to watch the pot all the time like you would on the stovetop. The only reason that I give this 4 stars instead of 5 is because it spattered over my oven walls and I had a good workout cleaning up afterwards.
Barbara: This is and excellent way to do this. I've been getting my fat from a butcher and doing this for years. I use pork for the good stuff to fry with, and once or twice a year I get beef fat and do this to make suet cakes to put out for the birds in the winter. It's nice to see this recipe here at Zaar. Thanks a bunch.
I would NOT add vegetable shortening to stretch lard. Lard is actually better than butter and has no trans fats in it and if you add shortening then you are adding the no good trans fats to it. Keep it in the fridge for weeks or the freezer for up to a year for good storage.
Schmaltz can be made from any animal. The Germans use goose and chicken as well as hog fat. My grandma used chicken and bacon drippings, often to season other meats being fried. (BTW, she was about 5'%' and skinny skinny, even with the lard!)Chicken schmaltz is particularly delicious for frying onions. This is a good use of leftover bits and therefore is economical.
Well... I didn't need so much lard so I used the stovetop instead of the oven. I cut the fat into smaller cubes and put it into a sturdy saucepan. 280gms of pork fat got me about 8 - 9 tbs of lard. Took me about 45 minutes in all from putting them into the saucepan to straining them with a wire strainer. The aroma is wonderful and the crackling absolutely delicious. The lard did sputter a bit towards the end so be prepared for that.