Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lard-Fried Brussels Sprouts are Good For You

This short video was produced by my buddy, Stephanie Gallagher, and I'm posting it for three very simple reasons.

First: to help me convince people that lard isn’t poison. Second: to show that surprisingly little fat actually stays with the food you fry. Third: to remind you to eat Brussels sprouts, which, as far as green vegetables go, rock! (if cooked certain ways...like fried in lard).

Stephanie is About.com's Guide to Cooking for Kids, and her site is filled with wonderful recipes for children of all ages (including lots of great Halloween ideas). I hope you check her out. Enjoy!


17 comments:

Livia said...

I wonder how much of the vitamin C remains after frying...
I'm not against consuming fat in moderation. In fact I did a similar experiment in measuring how much oil gets retained in 10 fried Hungarian flat breads (langos). It was also about two tablespoonfuls. So, really not too bad, if you fry things at the right temperature. Also, most of the fat I 'lost' in my experiment was actually drained out of the flatbreads into paper towels afterward.

http://planetofcrepes.blogspot.com/2009/12/potato-langos-hungarian-fried-soft.html

Brechin said...

One tablespoon....OF GOODNESS! Yum! More people need to cook with lard. And more people need to use it when making tortillas!

PrimeBrit said...

That's a very informative video Chef. Didn't I also learn the one minute version of sprouts on here? It's a famous dish in this house and the kids really do love em...

Chef John said...

Yes you did! (sans lard)

Lucia said...

TBH, is better to have lard than trans fats a million times. Your body knows how to process lard, but not the trans fats.

But yeah, since boiling takes away vitamins from vegetables, frying that is at a higher temperature than boiling prolly will leave not that many vitamins. Then again, a lot are lost in boiling so is not like a crime.

Pat Dohaney said...

Nothing can be finer than roasted sprouts. Just purchased a beautiful stock of brussel sprouts at the market and can't wait to roast with maple syrup and pancetta. Hmmmmmmmm. Tasty.
Sound Canadian, eh? You're oh so right.

Ian said...

Sorry, but being a physican with a degree in biochemistry, I have to call BS on the claim that lard is "not a saturated fat." She's not completely wrong in claiming that it is a monounsaturated fat, though. All fats contain a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The proportion of these varies in different fats. Lard is almost half saturated fat, with a little more than half monounsatured. That's still a VERY large proportion of saturated fat. You can look at the detailed breakdown here:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fats-and-oils/483/2

Lucas said...

Is that beef or pork fat? Would schmaltz work?

Chef John said...

Are you sure Doc? I usually believe everything she tells me! I still stand by my headline that fried Brussels sprouts are good for you! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef! Can you do a video recipe on stuffed mushrooms? Thanks!

Sweet Monkey Fritters said...

Somewhere in 'Nawlins, Emeril just passed out. ;) I have no issues using lard from time to time. I have to try this one. Thanks, Chef!

Lucia said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lard

In my books lard is a saturated fat, or pretty much anything that stays solid in room temperature and has not been hydrogenated to do so. However, checking the nutrition facts from the wiki site, it does have a good amount of monosaturated fats.

Also it depends greatly on the diet the pig has had during its life. In Spain, iberian ham tends to have a higher content of monosaturated fats than regular serrano ham due to the special diet of the pigs (acorns).

Still like any other fat, you shouldn't abuse it.

Anonymous said...

Here in the UK My mother always used to cook with lard (when frying) and so did the traditional Fish & chip shops until they cross over to cooking oil.

Things have never been the same since.


Anyway, off the subject it's me Offal man again and guess what I had for lunch today?

Yes I knew you guessed right, it was Haggis. What the hell is that I hear you say cousins?

Google it guys and gals.

Michael said...

While I am sure this is tasty and perhaps even calorically speaking there is a relatively small amount of lard used, my issue is the cooking process. The high temperatures for deep frying creates TONS of free radicals which are carcinogens.

Fat in moderation is important, but don't forget that there are other factors than just calories. Just something to consider.

btw, big fan.

albache said...

@Ian the physician..
I wonder if you really thought about the link you posted. Yes, there is saturated fat in lard, but there is slightly more monounsaturated fat as well. The point of the video was that cooking something in lard isn't horrible like people have been lead to believe. Lard has been unfairly demonized for the past 30 years as a horrible saturated fat. But lard is a mixed source of fat, and it's totally natural. In the video, the host shows that only about 1-2 tablespoons of lard have actually been used. That's for what looks like 4 servings of Brussels sprouts. Compare that to a "lean" burger:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beef-products/6194/2

Oh no! Saturated fat! .. But what's this? Monounsaturated fat in about the same ratio as a tablespoon of lard. And I'm guessing that as a physician, you wouldn't have a problem recommending "lean" meat like this to your patients. So what's the real difference?

That's the video's point. Lard isn't any worse than our other available natural fat sources that people regularly consume without even blinking.

Ian said...

@albache

You're absolutely right, lard is comparable to any other animal fat in terms of saturated fatty acid content. It doesn't make any sense to single out and "demonize" it (nor any other food in my opinion). But people need to know what they're consuming in order to make informed decisions about their health, and the statement "lard is not a saturated fat" is simply false. That was the statement I was taking issue with. It's easy for misinformation like this to spread.

As for myself, I'm pesco-vegetarian. My advice would be to avoid any animal fat, or at least consume it in moderation.

Michael also has a very good point: irrespective of the saturated fat content, deep-fried foods are not healthy for all sorts of other reasons. The same browning reactions that make them so delicious also produce all sorts of nasty carcinogens. One example would be acrylamide formed through the Maillard reaction. High temperatures also break down many vitamins.

So, in summary, I'm not saying you shouldn't eat these. I'm sure they're delicious. But don't do so falsely believing that they're good for you.

Anonymous said...

Everything in moderation. Is that such a hard rule to follow that we have to resort to repeating jargon about free-radicals, mono-this, saturated-that? Who cares! Just eat a variety of foods and eat them in moderation.