How To: Stovetop Lard Popcorn

I’m not on the chef Sean Brock ‘Southern Food is my everything bandwagon, but I do appreciate what the man has to say about lard on a recent episode of The Splendid Table.

One thing that’s a lot of fun to do is to flavor that lard during that process with maybe some hard herbs like rosemary, marjoram or thyme, and some garlic, chili flakes and some lemon. Then we’ll mix it with butter. At the restaurant that’s our bread service. We take butter and flavored lard, we whip it and then that’s what you put on your rolls.

I like this idea, though I like Irish butter on my rolls and rendered leaf lard on my popcorn. Try Rancho Gordo’s naturally red Crimson Popping Corn, Anson Mills’ Appalachian Heirloom Flint Sweet Popping Corn, or look for locally grown popping corn at a farmers market. Back in Arizona, I used to enjoy the red popping corn grown by McClendon’s Select.    

Stovetop Lard Popcorn

  • 1 1/2 oz (3 tbsp) lard, melted
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup popping corn

Melt the lard, over medium high heat, in a 3 quart saucepan till it shimmers slightly. Add one or two kernels, covering the pot with a lid, to test the temperature. When the kernels pop, add the salt and remaining popping corn. Cover, give the pan a shake, and remove from heat for 30 seconds.

Placing back over heat, shake the covered pan continuously. The kernels will pop vigorously, and rather delightfully. Seriously, it is nothing short of a giggle-inducing to watch the kernels pop through a glass lid, no matter how many times it is seen.

Popcorn made using Rancho Gordo's red corn.
Popcorn made using Rancho Gordo’s red corn.

Continue to shake the pan until the popping stops. The popcorn can be seasoned with melted butter, sure. But hold the butter, and drizzle with lime juice and hot sauce instead.

Enjoy more things you can do with lard:

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