There are many variations on this classic Mexican pork dish. This is the way my ex, who is from Michoacan, prepares it. We served this in our Mexican restaurant and it was a BIG hit! The nice thing about making it daily for the restaurant was that we could reuse both the cooking water and the lard multiple times, which multiplied the flavor! It's very simple to make. The short list of ingredients doesn't make for bland eating here! Substitutions can be made for the lard, but the result won't be quite the same. I think it has to do with the sensitivity of the various fats to heat, but frankly I'm not sure. This is NOT a low fat food! In fact, we refer to it as a "cholesterol nightmare," so we eat it seldom, but we REALLY enjoy it when we do!