You might wonder what you do after a 300 pound pig gets turned onto pork. Contrary to Little House on the Prairie, we don't spend a day salting the meat into barrels, playing volleyball with the pig's bladder or standing over a cauldron rendering lard. It comes back from the processor in neatly labeled, ready-to-use packages. All except the fat back: I don't call huge slabs of fat delivered in vacuum sealed bags exactly ready-to-use. Getting it ready for cooking usefulness is up to me.
Fat back is just the unrefined term for Lard: the frying fat of the gods. I know it sounds awfully old-fashioned, but before you freak out about me likening lard to something a god would make pie crust with, go on and read that linked Food and Wine article. Or come on out here and I'll fry some popcorn or chicken for you. Or you can Google how much vitamin d3 is in lard and then maybe you'll be persuaded try it as a non-burning butter replacer when making omelettes.
The best way I've ever found to get the fat back into it's lard-licious state is leave it in huge slabs (think gigantic reference books of fat) put it in the biggest crock pot you can buy. A friend gave me one so big it's considered a portable oven. Fitting for a 300 pound pig, don't you think?
No cauldron here, I simply leave the crockpot on low overnight, and wake up to the mouth-watering smell of roast pork and that slab melted down to nothing but liquid.
I ladle all the now liquid lard into jars and it's ready-to-use in all it's refined glory. Makes me want to fry something, or at least make BBQ nachos with the rest of the neatly packaged pork!