Hill’s b-day was last week. We had some folks over, and I made a sort of greek inspired meal, including these lamb sausages. Caul fat, also called fat netting, is super cool stuff! When you cook it, the fat renders down completely (much of it getting absorbed into the meat) and creates a very delicate casing.
Getting it, however, can be a little tricky. I called about 8 butchers around the city and found little joy. I made a call to a nearby whole foods. It’s not a supermarket that I usually go to, but I figured that if they had the stuff, I’d brave it. I was patched through to their butcher. “Do you have caul fat?” “What?” “Caul fat.. fat netting. Do you carry it?” “we don’t sell any kind of fat.” I didn’t bother to try to explain it.
Finally it occurred to me to try a place in Astoria. Astoria, for those of you outside of NYC, is a Greek neighborhood in queens and is a glorious place for food shopping. After a quick web search, I was on the phone with a very nice man at Mediterranean Foods on 31st st. “Do you have caul fat” “yup.. How much do you need?” It sort of caught me off guard. He said “yup” as though I had asked for hamburger meat.. Or chicken leg quarters. “I’m not sure,” I said, “I’ve never used it!”
The stuff behaves a little like plastic wrap. It clings to itself pretty well and cuts easily with kitchen shears, so wrapping things up in it is a snap. I’ll play around with this a bit and then post a few ideas. In the mean time, go find some and play!