Smalczyk – Polish cottage pork lard with cracklings

Lard is made of pork fat, it needs to be said: it is not healthy. But as the fat carries a flavor – it is goood:) Tastes best on rye bread with pickled cucumbers. Yummy.

In Poland lard is served in restaurants with polish traditional food, as a pre-starter. It is something that you get free once you place an order and wait for your food. This Smalec is posh and exclusive;)

However the origins of it are not so rosy. In the past people in Polish countryside were poor. When they have a pig killed, they used all the single part of it. A lard made of fat was high caloric bread spread, that gave energy for the whole day of hard work.


  • 450 g/ 1 lb pork fat
  • 300 g/0,7 lb bacon
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 apple
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt & pepper

Dice finely fat and bacon. Place in the pan. Fry on medium heat. After few minutes a fat will start melting.

Once the fat is melted and there are only cracklings left in a pot – add chopped garlic, diced apples and onion. Season with salt and pepper. After 10 minutes take it off the heat.

Place Smalec in a clay pot and cool. Store in a fridge.


  1. Fat can be also grounded. However I wouldn’t ground bacon, so that the cracklings were bigger and crispier.
  2. I used fat which was unexpectedly left from ribs, that I wanted to bake. It turned out that they are more fatty that I wanted:)
  3. I recommend shortly pickled cucumbers to be served with bread with Smalec: Ogórki Małosolne. It will make the dish complete:)
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