Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Of lard + lardo

Sister Cochon Restaurant just came out with their new T-Shirt line. And there it is, a picture of a big ol' pig + the following: IN LARD WE TRUST. Just like that. Love it!
But as you might imagine, it's not just a sassy slogan, neither for Cochon Restaurant nor for the Butcher. We DO trust in lard. Which is rendered pig fat, that has been used for cooking + baking for centuries. These days, it's kind of out of fashion as it is perceived as more unhealthy than butter or shortening. However, at the Butcher, we make lard + also lardo (the cured pork fat back), we use it, we sell it.
Lard makes rocking pie crust + super flaky biscuits. You can go 'old fashion' + use it wherever you'd use butter or other cooking fat: for sauteing veggies for example, or frying up some eggs. If you choose to use the fatty pork goodness more like a treat, head for lardo: warm up a fresh foccacia, while you cut it into super thin slices - you want to keep it cool while you handle lard + lardo, as it starts to melt at about 79 degrees. Lay the lardo slices on the warm bread, it will melt right away + taste like a "butter bread supreme'!
If you're ready to turn it up a notch, Butcher's Kris suggests a sinfully tasty alternative: 'Gras Pista'. Here is his take on this traditional Italian mix of pork fat + seasonings: Get a good chunk of lardo + grind it up with the smallest grinder your kitchen machine offers, keeping the surrounding as cool as possible. Flavor the ground pork fat with chile flakes, pulverized bay leaf, salt + black pepper. Now whip it! Using the paddle of your kitchen machine, whip the seasoned lardo for a couple of minutes. Last step: Add just 2 or 3 drops of truffle oil. 'The earthyness of the truffle works really well with the pork flavor", says Kris. Done.
Use 'Gras Pista' in your 'risotto con funghi'. Stir it into plain, cooked spaghetti + top it with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Flavor your polenta or grits with it. Spread it on warm bread. Play with the seasoning, leaving out the truffle oil, adding basil + parsley for a pesto-like 'Gras Pista' (FYI: the herbs will turn it green). Your taste is the limit.


  1. hanks for the tips. Now I have to find a source of lardo in NYC. My last butcher went pork belly up and headed back to Italy!

    When I was down in August your sister restaurant only had the medium T-shirts. How can I get my hands on one of the new ones Hopefully XXL) from up here.

  2. Beau, call sister Cochon restaurant at 504.588.2123 or e-mail them at info@cochonrestaurant.com - the crew will be happy to help you if they have what you're looking for!

  3. I live in Mexico City but visited NoLa last week. Having dinner @ Cohchon was an epifany. I truly believe that, of many of the Top Rated restaurants that I visited during my trip, Cochon is without a doubt, the best. I am a travel journalist and have been to America´s largest cities. Cochon can easily be in my TOP 10 U.S. favorite restaurants. In LaRd WE TruSt!!! Beto R. Lanz, Mexico