In the several posts I've made on rendering fats on this blog, I have described "leaf fat" (which makes the very best lard, and pork leaf lard makes the very best pastry) as being waxy. I was right, and I was wrong... apparently. The beef leaf fat I got last year was indeed waxy. However, I just received 5 pounds of PORK leaf fat, and it bears NO resemblance to the beef leaf fat I've obtained in the past. (Note: this is from pastured pork, not from a CAFO.)
My 5 pounds arrived frozen, packed in extra dry ice still in the cooler, and I just chucked it in the freezer when it was delivered. Last night I put it in the refrigerator to defrost overnight, and today began rendering it on the stovetop.
The 5 pound "thing' is one big mass, although it must have been many individual pieces when it was removed from the hog(s). It is very soft at my room temp of 66-68ºF, and sticky to cut. The first portions I actually cubed before putting in the pan with about a quarter-cup of water. They soon started rendering and I added 2 slabs (not cubed) just to see how they fared. They became almost mush within about 5 minutes, and I "cut" them into smaller chunks with my whisk so they would have more surface area exposed to heat and thus render better.
Here's the first half, rendered, strained through 2 layers of fine butter muslin, and now cooling. The lard will turn white when fully cooled, and then I will weigh them. The small container is "cracklins'".
Here's the finished goods. A total of 4.52 pounds of leaf lard and 7½ ounces of cracklins, for a total of 4.99 pounds. Since this rendered lard is soft rather than hard and waxy like the beef tallow, I plan to store it in the freezer.
Next on my list to acquire is duck fat or goose fat. Probably easier (and cheaper) to aim for duck fat. I will use some for confits, and some for frying potatoes... which I understand makes an incredible fry... and freeze the rest.