I have explained here how to handle the ‘panna’ – the caul fat. If you can’t, or don’t want to use it, shape the mixture into small burgers and grill as normal. Having said that the ‘panna’ does keep the sheftaliés really moist and juicy and also stops them sticking to the grill. One source for pann that I have found is Baldwin’s butchers in North London. http://baldwinsbutchers.co.uk/
1 kg pork mince
1 white onion finely chopped
3-4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste.
300 gm caul fat, rinsed under a cold tap.
Caul fat is a curious thing to cook with. When you first get it from the butcher it looks like a pack of scrunched up lard, and you can’t imagine how this is ever going to be useful as a sausage casing. The best thing to do is to put it in a bowl and rinse it with cold water. Now start to tease the caul fat apart. Quickly you will be able to see that it is made up of a thin membrane connected by strands of white fat. It does need to be handled carefully of course, though it is more resilient than you would imagine.
Once you have teased it apart, take a section and spread it out on a clean work surface and cut out small sheets about 10- 12 cm square. They really don’t have to be too regular – this is one of those techniques where you just have to use your eye and judgment. Practice really does make perfect!
In a large bowl mix together the minced pork, chopped onion, and chopped parsley and seasonings with your hands. Make sure that the ingredients are mixed evenly but don’t over-work it as the mixture needs to have some texture.
Now take a piece of the opened up caul fat, put about a tablespoonful of the pork mixture in the middle and wrap the rest of the fat around it until you have a short, dumpy sausage – these are the sheftaliés. Repeat this until you have used up the pork stuffing.
Allow the sheftaliés to rest for at least half an hour before cooking.
Grill them on a good hot barbecue, turning a few times to ensure that they don’t burn. Obviously, they can be grilled in a domestic oven too, but the flavour will not be quite the same.
Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice, warm pitta bread and a good dollop of tzatziki.