Don't Toss Your Leftover Pig Fat-Freeze It and Drink It
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
- 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
- Render pancetta until it’s in complete liquid form in a heavy bottom sauce pot.
- Add ¼ cup of water to aid the rendering process on low heat to not allow any color or browning of the fat.
- 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.
- Then freeze entire pan for another 2 hours.
- Remove from the freezer, the fat should have come to the top and solidified.
- Break off the fat and line fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth. Strain entire contents. Separate the liquids in a pouring vessel.
For the Mangasphere:
- Melt the fat down to liquid at low temp. It can be pourable but softened.
- Pour into spherical molds up to half way and freeze.
- Once frozen, pour more until mold is filled to the top. Use a squeeze bottle for this. Freeze until solid.
- Take out of mold and reserve in the freezer on a tray until service.
- Add ingredients to mixing glass, add ice and stir.
- Place a Mangasphere in a rocks glass and pour the cocktail over it.
- 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.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.