Just what is leaf lard also known as flead in English cookery books? It is the fat from around the pig's kidneys. Fat from the veal and beef kidney is called suet.
How can you tell the difference between back fat and leaf lard? It is really quite simple it's all about texture. Unlike back fat that is a smooth, consistent piece of fat, leaf lard has a brittle texture and you can break it into small pieces with your fingers. It is firmer than back fat at room temperature because it found inside the animal's body not on the outside.
Below it is unrolled and you can clearly see the membrane below d on the right it is fat side up.
And here it is fat side up.
You can either pull the fat off the membrane or the membrane off the fat - your choice. The fat breaks into small pieces and you'll be left with the membrane (left) and the fat (right). Now you can render the fat as it is or chop it into smaller pieces. Then once you have rendered leaf lard you have the best lard for making pastry.
Two things to check out - Salted Butter Caramel Tart is featured on Leite's Culinaria and Mark Bittman gives a good tip for drying you chickpeas before frying them which will improve my Brussels Sprouts recipe. I just spread them on a towel lined baking pan and put them in the fridge for a couple of hours and when i fried them they were really crispy.