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Smalec - known in Poland as the poor man's butter

Smalec Recipe

  • Author: Polish Housewife
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 mins
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
  • Cuisine: Polish


A rich, rustic spread for bread, aka the poor man’s butter


  • 2 1/2 pounds pork fat, coarsely ground or finely diced
  • 1/2 pounds bacon, coarsely ground or finely diced
  • 3 medium onions (about 3 1/2 cups), finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cores, and grated or finely diced


  1. In a large frying pan, cook the ground pork fat for 10 minutes over medium heat, it will begin to render fat
  2. Add the ground bacon, onions, garlic, salt and pepper
  3. Stir, scrapping the bottom frequently
  4. Reduce heat to low if necessary
  5. I kept cooking and stirring for another 50 minutes, until the rendered fat level began to be high tee than the chopped bits in the pan
  6. Add the marjoram and grated apple
  7. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally for a uniform consistency
  8. Store in the fridge
  9. Serve with a dark bread and small dill pickles


Best consumed with beer or vodka!