I skim the lard/tallow off the top of my stock and keep it in a container in the fridge (my stock method here). The easiest way to do this is to put the finished stock into a large jug or container in the fridge. When it has cooled, the fat will have solidified on the top of the stock and is easy to scrape off. I usually end up with a little stock mixed in, but that just adds flavour. I don't bother to purify it, so I just try to use it up quickly (as the stock will go off before the fat will). I find that its useful for frying and roasting just about anything. When I have some cooking fat in the fridge I use it in place of my normal olive oil or butter. I don't go out of my way to source animal fat for cooking, but when I do have it, I like to use it up. I kept lots of fat from the steer we just butchered, so I will be rendering that soon (its waiting for me in the freezer).
I like using the fat because:
- it tastes good and is nutritious
- it means that I'm not wasting the fat from my stock
- I don't have to buy anything in packaging
- it reduces the amount of olive oil that I need to buy