Cypriot Sheftalia Kebabs
½ pound lamb caul fat soaked in 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and topped with water about the caul. Caul fat can be obtained at most Middle Eastern or Greek butchers; specialty butchers will be able to get it for you as well. It freezes well so buy extra and store in freezer bags.
- 2 ½ pounds lean ground pork
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- ½ bunch of washed and dried flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons ground pepper
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- Juice of one lemon
Mix all ingredients except caul fat together in a bowl. Bowl on the left of a large cutting board, caul fat on the right and a shape knife for cutting available. We are going to make an oval meatball and wrap it in caul. This will keep them incredibly moist and once cooked creates a paper-thin layer that sort of snaps when eaten. One thing to know, there are areas of the caul that are thick and fat, discard it. I promise when you see this spider web like substance you will know what I am talking about. Each cylinder is about the length of your middle finger and as fat as 2 fingers together. Lie out a piece of the caul on the board and place the meatball on one end. Roll up just enough to cover the whole meatball and then cut the caul and repeat. This amount of ingredients will make enough for well over 40 balls. Irene then takes 2 metal skewers and lines up the sheftalia and places the skewers through each of them. This will make them much easier to flip on the grill.
Heat up the bbq and they take about 15 to 20 minutes.
While I was hanging around playing, listening and learning Irene decided to have a little fun and we “modernized” the sheftalia by adding 1 cup of her chopped garlic and lemon green olives and the zest of 3 lemons to the same exact meat mixture. We then rolled these round and slightly flattened to decipher one recipe from the other. Both were delicious.
Tahini with gorgeous olive oil for the final dish.
Here is something important to note, one, if you do not have caul fat make these anyway the flavours are so good, two, if you do not want to bbq then fry them in a frying pan with a bit of olive oil over a medium heat.
The proper Cyprian way of eating sheftalia is with warm Middle Eastern pita, gorgeous rich tahini, a salad of equal parts chopped raw onion, tomatoes and cucumber and pickled hot peppers.