Makes: Serves 8
Preparation Time: 4 hours
- 1 KG OF BONED FRESH HAM
- 2 GARLIC CLOVES, MINCED
- 1 KG OF LARD
- 3 BAY LEAVES
- SALT AND BLACK PEPPER TO TASTE
Cut the meat into cubes and season with garlic, salt, and black pepper. Heat one tablespoon of lard and sear the ham on all sides; transfer to a deep baking dish. Melt the remaining lard and pour over the pig, until it is fully covered (the meat needs to be immersed). Add the bay leaves and bake in a preheated oven at 100°C for 3 to 4 hours, or until tender. Wait until it is cool and store it in lard – or serve it as soon as you take it out of the oven.
IN DETAIL: Not only the French know the “confit” method of preparing food – duck being the most traditional for them. Around here, we’ve inherited, from the Portuguese, the method for preserving food in lard. By preparing parts of the pig in its own fat and then storing it in cans, it was possible to keep the food for many days without refrigeration. Even after the invention of the refrigerator, the technique was still used in rural areas in farms, and was even applied to poultry.