Don't Toss Your Leftover Pig Fat-Freeze It and Drink It

Chef Paul Hancock reveals the secret to a nice smooth cocktail is all in the fat.
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So, you’ve finished cooking your bacon and you have a nice amount of grease left in the pan. Do you throw it out? Absolutely not. You freeze it and put it in your whiskey.

Okay, it’s a bit more nuanced than that, but when Chef Paul Hancock, head of the kitchen at Citrus & Palm tells you to freeze the rendered fat from a Mangalica pig, you listen up.

"This animal has 92 percent monosaturated fat. We call it the walking avocado," says Hancock. "It's heart-healthy, and what's unique about this animal is that it's raised on a farm where they also grow all the fruits and vegetables that they eat."

Mangalica pigs, whose pork can be ordered from Mangalitsa in New Jersey, are a cross between a Hungarian pig and a Russian wild boar. The result is a bit of a super pig with meat and fat that rivals competitors in its weight class. When the lard itself is frozen (try a spherical ice mold to create the “Mangasphere”), it not only acts an ice cube, but it also gives a slight savory flavor—one that pairs extremely well with a good pour of whiskey. 

"I pour scotch over [my Mangasphere], and it mellows the scotch out," says Hancock.

What remains is a smooth drink that makes you wonder why you’re not adding pork to everything.


YIELDS: 1 - 8 servings

COOK TIME: 1 hour

TOTAL TIME: 6 hours 

Magnasphere Batch 

  • 4 oz. pancetta
  • 1 bottle, Maker's Mark Bourbon

Mangasphere Ol' Fashioned

  • 1 Mangasphere (for each drink)
  • 2 oz. Maker's Mark Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz. Vermont maple syrup
  • 2 dashes, Angostura bitters
  • 1 ripe orange


Mangasphere Batch

  1. Render pancetta until it’s in complete liquid form in a heavy bottom sauce pot.
  2. Add ¼ cup of water to aid the rendering process on low heat to not allow any color or browning of the fat.
  3. Place in large 4 quart, metal, food safe pan with entire contents of bottle of bourbon. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit room temp for 4 hours.
  4. Then freeze entire pan for another 2 hours.
  5. Remove from the freezer, the fat should have come to the top and solidified.
  6. Break off the fat and line fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth. Strain entire contents. Separate the liquids in a pouring vessel.

For the Mangasphere:

  1. Melt the fat down to liquid at low temp. It can be pourable but softened.
  2. Pour into spherical molds up to half way and freeze.
  3. Once frozen, pour more until mold is filled to the top. Use a squeeze bottle for this. Freeze until solid.
  4. Take out of mold and reserve in the freezer on a tray until service.
Mangasphere Ol’ Fashioned
  1. Add ingredients to mixing glass, add ice and stir.
  2. Place a Mangasphere in a rocks glass and pour the cocktail over it.
  3. Garnish with a luxardo cherry on top of the Mangasphere. Peel a strip of the orange without cutting into the pith. Twist the peel, rub the rim of the glass, and toss in. 

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This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Justin Kirkland
Justin Kirkland is a writer for Esquire, where he focuses on entertainment, television, and pop culture. Prior to Esquire, his work appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Reporter, and USA Today. He is from East Tennessee and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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