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Griebenschmalz – German Pork Lard Made Easy At Home

In this post I’ll show you how you can make Griebenschmalz yourself. Like the Obatzda a classic for a Bavarian “Brotzeit”. 

Griebenschmalz is pork lard with added onions, apples and cracklings.

You can eat Griebenschmalz on a fresh baked bread or even with a homemade Laugenbreze (soft pretzel).

It can also be used for cooking. The lard brings flavor to vegetables or meat. If you don’t like greaves / cracklings, onion & apples in your lard, I’ll show you how to make simple lard without it.

Further down I’ll tell you the origins of Griebenschmalz. But now enough chatter!

You can watch the Griebenschmalz recipe as video or read it. 

Have fun making it!


Making Griebenschmalz at home – What do you need

Griebenschmalz – all ingredients

Ingredients for a classic Griebenschmalz:

For around 750 g Griebenschmalz:

  • 500 g Flomen (pork belly fat)
  • 250 g pork backfat

Spices:

  • 2 apples (tart apples work best)
  • 2 onions
  • salt, pepper & marjoram to taste

Equipment needed to make Griebenschmalz

Cheesecloth / Fine mesh sieve

The cheesecloth is used to separate your liquid fat from remaining solid pieces of fat. You can also use a fine mesh sieve.


Homemade Griebenschmalz – Step-By-Step Instruction

1. Cut the onions into small pieces. The size is up to you. I cut them into fine slices. Cubes also work.

Griebenschmalz – cut onion

2. Peel your apples and cut them into small cubes. The apples will almost dissolve in the lard later.

Griebenschmalz – onion apple

3. Put the pieces of fat in a pot. If you can’t get them ground up, you can grind them at home. I would use the smallest perforated disc for this.

Griebenschmalz – fat

4. Melt the fat in the pot on low-medium heat. Make sure your cracklings don’t get too crispy yet. 

Griebenschmalz – melt fat

5. After 15 minutes you can take out the cracklings

Griebenschmalz – cracklings

6. If you want to have standard pork lard you have to pass the fat through a cheesecloth or sieve. This way you will remove all the remaining pieces. Then you can fill it into jars.

Griebenschmalz – cheesecloth 2

7. For the Griebenschmalz, add the apples and onions to the fat. 

Griebenschmalz – onion apple Fat

8. After 10 minutes, add the cracklings again and leave them in the pot for another 5 minutes.

Griebenschmalz – cracklings 2

9. Take the apples, onions and cracklings out of the fat and store them in a bowl. Then filter the rendered fat through cheesecloth. This will help to get the fine dark particles out of the fat.

Griebenschmalz – cheesecloth

10. Put the apple, onion, crackling mixture back into the filtered fat. The amount is dependent on your taste. The fried up apple/onion/crackling mixture seasoned with salt also tastes delicious on its own.

Griebenschmalz – filterd fat

11. Season the mixture with marjoram, salt and pepper to your taste.

Griebenschmalz – spices

12. When the mixture has cooled down a bit, you can fill it into jars with a spoon

Griebenschmalz – ready


How long does the Griebenschmalz keep?

The lard should always be stored airtight in the refrigerator. There it can be kept for at least 1 month.


What is Griebenschmalz?

In the past, farmers slaughtered their animals themselves. The motto was “nothing is wasted”.  Nowadays, this should also be more like this again ;).

For this reason, the fat tissue of the pig was also processed. 

By cooking, the fat was melted and rendered out.

This is how lard was created. 

Greaves / Cracklings is the name given to the tissue that contracted again after cooling. 

The farmers cut this tissue into small pieces and put it into the lard. 

This is how Griebenschmalz was created.


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  1. Vielen Dank!
    I’m making this right now in Seattle because I had some extra fatty pork and I know this dish from My hometown of Munich. My grandmother used to make it.
    I’m not getting a lot of lard rendered though …even after about 20 minutes on low to medium, so I’m wondering if I could add some American bacon strips for extra lard?
    Thanks so much and will be making more of your recipes soon.

    1. Update: ok…so I made it without American bacon and just used the pork fat I had.
      Let me just say it was DELICIOUS and totally like my grandmother used to make. Anyone reading this…be sure you have good crusty German bread to go with it though!
      Thank you again!

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