With Halloween just around the corner, I've got pots on the stove simmering away with the last of the harvest. Part of getting ready for the December holidays means preparing now. In pot #1 leaf lard, #2 beef stock and #3 tomatillo chutney.
Recipes need testing, green tomatoes need processing and I always need lard. No, I don't just buy lard on the shelf at the grocery store. I want a pure fat without unnecessary additives and preservatives (such as suspected carcinogens BHT and BHA). The leaf lard comes from around the kidneys of local pigs (thought to be the 'cleanest' fat in the body) and once rendered produces a neutral tasting fat. I use it in my handmade pies and tarts to create an incredible tender and flaky pastry.
These beautiful purplish-green spheres covered in a papery husk are tomatillos. Completely unrelated to tomatoes, these firm fruits are from the same family as cape gooseberries. They are prized for their sharp and clean taste. Paired with raisins, ginger, brown sugar and mint, the tomatillos make a fantastic sweet-sour chutney to go with rich pates or savoury meat pies such as the Quebecois Tourtiere.
And we come full circle. Lard for pastry, beef stock for meat pie filling and chutney as a condiment to tourtiere.
Eating. Drinking. Sharing.