500 g bacon
Pork greaves and lard are traditional Romanian foods that are traditionally prepared prior to the holiday season and then eaten pretty much throughout the year.
It is fairly easy to make pork greaves and lard. The two recipes are really in one because when you make pork greaves, you make, by default, lard.
All you need is pork bacon, salt and a little water. In some part of the country milk is used instead of water, but that’s rather the exception than the rule.
How to make Pork Greaves and Lard
- Remove the rind from the bacon and cut it into large square pieces. Traditionally, pigs in Romania are fatten to obtain a bacon with a very high fat concentration. You can really spot by the color – the more whiter the higher the fat concentration.
- Put the meat into a large saucepan or glazed pot and add salt. Remember: an unglazed pot will make the lard rancid!
- Using a wooden spoon, stir slowly over a high heat until the greaves are browned. TIP: if you are afraid of the fat burning, add a little water.
- Remove the greaves with a strainer, leave to cool and then keep in the refrigerator.
- Strain the fat left over from cooking the greaves and put in jars.
- Wait for it to cool and then harden before closing the jars and keeping cool in the pantry (in a dark and dry place) or in the fridge. The leftovers from unstrained greaves can, in time, make the lard rancid.
How are Pork Greaves Used?
Pork greaves can be used in different forms, in different foods, or even as is. They can be served plain with bread and hot polenta with sheep cheese, in a cabbage dish, in an omelette, or you can also make bread with greaves or other dishes depending on your taste and imagination.
Pork Greaves and Lard; Photo credit: Lectii si Arome