German Schmalz, or Griebenschmalz is most often used as a bread spread, instead of butter. While it sounds strange to the uninitiated, a layer of Schmalz, sprinkled with salt, on top of fresh, German bread is heavenly. Schmalz is used layered over potted meats, stirred into cabbage dishes, and for browning onions. Often eaten with the cracklings left in, Schmalz can be flavored with apples and onions as well. Schmalz is better than bacon fat for many things because it does not add salt to a dish.
Makes 1 - 2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
- 2 lb. fat trimmings from pork
- 1 apple (optional)
- 1 onion (optional)
- Salt (optional)
Cut fat trimmings into small pieces (1/4 inch square). They may still have a little meat on them. Place them in a large pan over low to medium heat. You may use a lid at any time to help them heat up. Do not use a non-stick pan.
Heat and stir until the trimming start to melt. Continue to heat and stir for an hour or more, until the pieces turn into brown cracklings (Grieben).
If you are adding the apple and onion, peel both, chop fine and add at this time. Keep cooking the fat until the apple starts to turn golden brown, 15 minutes or more. You may add salt, if you wish, but it is usual to salt the dish or bread just before consumption.
Pour into a crock, do not use glass as the hot fat could burst it. If you would like smooth Schmalz, pour it through a sieve or even cheesecloth, to remove all browned bits. Cool completely.
Keep the lard in a cool spot. It will keep for many weeks.
You may want to save the cracklings to use in soups or bean pots. Freeze them in a zipper bag about an inch thick and you can break off what you need.