Lard is not the dirty word it once was. The realisation that natural animal fats are more easily digested by our bodies has meant it is making our way back into our diets. The truffled lard will keep for at least three months refrigerated and can be used for all manner of cooking from rubbing through pastry to smearing over warm toast or adding to vegetables for roasting.

4 medium brown onions
4 medium red onions
5 sprigs thyme
125 ml (½ cup) red wine
1 tablespoon brown sugar
finely grated truffle, to garnish
Truffled lard
300 g soft rendered lard
20 g finely grated black truffle
1 tablespoon sea salt
Truffled polenta
300 ml milk
115 g polenta
60 g finely grated parmesan
12 g finely grated black truffle
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
  2. Place the whole unpeeled onions in a roasting tin and roast until very soft, about 1½-2 hours. Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel, discarding the skins and leaving the onions intact.
  3. Meanwhile, for truffle the lard, place the lard in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the truffle and salt and mix on low speed for about 5 minutes until well combined. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until required. The truffled lard will keep for up to 3 months.
  4. To make the truffled polenta, combine the milk and 300 ml water in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium–high heat. Whisk in the polenta, then reduce the heat to low and stir frequently with a wooden spoon for about 1 hour or until the mixture is smooth and not gritty. Stir in the parmesan and truffle and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat 80 g truffled lard in a large frying pan over low–medium heat, add the onions and thyme and cook gently, turning often, until the onions are caramelised on the outside, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and sugar and cook for 8–10 minutes or until the wine has reduced by half. Adjust the seasoning if necessary and serve on polenta with freshly grated truffle.