I’ve been reading a lot about how it’s bad to use extra virgin olive oil when you’re cooking with high heat (e.g. roasting, grilling, etc.). What a buzz kill. Thankfully, I have good, healthful lard in the fridge!
Tonight, I decided to roast some carrots and delicata squash coated in lard. Doesn’t that just sound totally decadent and unhealthy? A year ago, I would never touch lard with a ten-foot pole, but now I use it all the time. From now on, I’m going to try to use coconut oil, ghee, or lard for all my high-heat cooking.
Cooking with lard isn’t as convenient as pouring olive oil out of a bottle – you gotta melt the stuff, but then it easily seizes up again when it touches your cold veggies or meat.
So here’s what I did: I scooped up a few tablespoons of lard and nuked it in a glass bowl for 20 second intervals until it melted. Make sure you closely monitor it or your microwave will look like someone barfed lard all over it.
Once the lard melts, use a silicone brush to paint the fat onto your veggies. It does solidify on contact (especially if your veggies are right out of the ice box) which is kind of annoying. But don’t overcompensate by slathering more on or you’ll end up with a huge oil slick at the bottom of your pan later.
Aren’t these carrots purty?
I peeled and cut them before coating them with lard and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
Post-roasting (400 F for 40 minutes):
Here’s the delicata squash before I popped it in my toaster oven (400 F for 20-30 minutes). They almost look waxed!
I have tons of extra virgin olive oil stock-piled in my pantry from my pre-Paleo days. Now that I’ve sworn off cooking at high temperatures with the stuff, I guess I’m gonna be drizzling it on a lot of my dishes after I’ve plated them! (Update: I still cook with extra virgin olive oil because I read this article that calmed my fears.)2