On the Harmony of Lard

Pig fat is in every one of our meals.  The result is that we eat more vegetables.  This is the greatest benefit of unreproved lard use.  Parsnips are a humble vegetable for example.  They are prone to mealy blandness.  If you want to know what pig fat brings to the table, steam or boil the parsnip unsalted and you will understand. 

That is the foundational pairing in the following list.  Pork fat and salt are not mere ingredients; they are how other things become flavorful.  They are savor itself.  The implications of this are limitless.

It means that you can purchase any vegetable at the farmer's market confidently.  This works especially for ones you have never tried.  I grew up in suburbia eating grocery store fare, so I hadn't tasted turnips, parsnips, winter peas, favas, lentils, Jerusalem artichokes, chard, collards, or properly braised kale until I started working on farms.

At the same time, I started slaughtering pigs.  Consequently, my strategy for eating seasonally was simple.  Melt pig fat in the pan on medium heat.  Chop the root, leaf, stem or pod.  Ad it to the pan, salt generously and toss.  Fry until the corners are brown but stop before things fall apart.  Err on the side of undercooking the vegetables so they have some texture.  Serve with polenta, rice or bread.

- May, 2018 Harvest Journal, On the Harmony of Lard 
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