Is there a recipe for tenderizing steak with lard? Someone told me this works well and I would like to try it. Thank you.--Elsie
None of my references say anything about tenderizing steak with lard, although there is a technique called larding, which is used to tenderize larger cuts of meat like roasts. To lard a roast, pieces of un-rendered fat, usually from fatback or pork belly, are inserted into the roast at spaces of about 1 1/2 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5 cm). As the roast cooks, the fat melts and spreads into the muscle fiber, tenderizing the meat. The effect is to essentially increase the marbling of a lean cut of meat.
A tool called a larding needle is specifically made to insert pieces of fat, or you can simply cut strips of pork fat about 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) square by about 2 to three inches (5 to 7.6 cm) long and freeze them until they are fairly stiff. Then plunge a narrow pairing knife into the roast to make an incision into which a piece of the fat can be inserted. If you wish, you can also insert a thin slice of garlic at the same time to add flavor. Do this all over the surface of the roast.
Another technique, called barding, involves simply tying a thin layer of un-rendered fat onto the top of the roast before cooking. The fat is removed for the final half hour or so to allow a final browning to occur.
I can't see using using either of these techniques on a steak, however, as the meat is usually too thin to be larded and the cooking times too short for barding to be effective. Also, if you like your steak on the rarer side, you might find that you encounter chunks of unmelted fat. I suppose you could try rubbing baking lard into the surface of the meat, but penetration would be shallow. The major tenderizing would likely come from the mechanical action of massaging the steak while doing so.