Polish Lard with Cracklings

Smalczyk – Polish Pork Lard with Cracklings is made of pork fat, you need to agree: it is not healthy. But as the fat carries a flavor – it is also 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 Smalczyk 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.

Smalczyk on the rye bread served with Małosolne cucumbers


  • 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 and 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 Smalczyk – Polish Lard with Cracklings in a clay pot and cool. Store in a fridge.


  1. You can also ground the fat. 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 Smalczyk: Ogórki Małosolne. It will make the dish complete:)
Smalczyk in a clay pot.
Smalczyk on the rye bread served with Małosolne cucumbers
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5 thoughts on “Polish Lard with Cracklings”

  1. Mary Abramczyk

    How long will smalczyk stay good for in the fridge?
    Also, is a commercial grocery-store brand block of lard the same as dicing the fresh fat and heating it to liquefy (sorry for my lack of pork fat and lard knowledge)?

    1. Hi Mary, smalczyk will be good a long time, I would say 3-4 weeks it should stay good.
      The second question, sorry, but I cannot really answear, because I don’t have experience with this kind of lard.
      I prefer a piece of fat meat like bacon, you get fat and you got cracklings thanks to meat.

      1. fat back in the US is not the same as słonina in Poland. Pork belly works good and liquifies quite well. And the fat back is very salty

        Alleksandra thanks for the recipe, Kuba

      2. The type of lard Mary was asking about in the commet above is rendered lard. In the USA it can be purchase in a food market (grocery store). It has been slow heated over time to burn off impurities, then strained. This process leaves a clean, very mild flavored, lard. It is often used in pastries and pie dough. [Side note: My Polish babcia always said it made the best diaper rash cream; we all laughed. However, when no store-bought diaper cream would clear our babies diaper rashes, lard always worked! Go figure, the Polish grandma knew best.]
        My guess would be that as long as the bacon and bacon fat were added for the stronger flavored fat and the bacon meat crisps it would work fine to use store bought, rendered lard; maybe using some porkbelly salt pork fat mixed with the rendered lard, since it seem like Polish lard is what is fat prior to being rendered (this is just my impression though anout Polish lard, as I sadly have never been to Poland).

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