These Lamb Kofta Kebabs with Caul Fat are amongst the tastiest things I've ever cooked! Lamb is probably my favourite meat so we're already onto a winner, but the way these kebabs are cooked are nothing short of magical. The key ingredient is caul fat!
What is caul fat?
There are two schools of thought as to what exactly caul fat is:
1. The fatty membrane which wraps around the vital organs of an animal.
2. A thing of wonderment and magic that will help create the juiciest kofta you're ever likely yo experience.
Now that's cleared up, all I can say is that caul fat elevates what is already a delicious offering into a flavour and textural sensation! It looks like a fatty spider web which, for cooking, is unravelled into huge sheets and wrapped around meats like a sausage casing. During cooking the caul fat melts, creating a self-basting marvel which protects the inside from drying out. It also enables a beautiful char on the outside.
Civilisations have been harnessing the powers of caul fat for centuries, The French Crepinette and the Great British Faggot (We're reclaiming the word haters!) both make excellent use of this super-ingredient.
It's your caul!
Now it's up to you whether you make the leap into the caul fat net, but I've created these kofta skewers with and without and It's undeniable that the caul fat brings something very special to the party.
I ate a version of these in Istanbul at one of the hundreds of kebab shops dotted around the city. When I saw a (very handsome) man expertly wrapping small balls of meat through the shop window I barged in like my life depended on it. His version was served inside a flat bread with a Caçik sauce (yoghurt & cucumber) a very spicy pepper sauce and the ever present onion and sumac salad. It was divine on that cold winter day.
Now, a cooking tip. Using flat kebab skewers will change your life. I got a set a few years ago for about $3 and they have been the best decision ever made. I even brought them with me when I moved to the US! When I think back to the pain of thin metal skewers or worse still, wooden skewers its laughable. Meat falls off thin skewers and the wooden ones just disintegrate on the BBQ. These flat ones hold the meat so well, making BBQ cooking so much easier. End of public announcement.
How to make my Lamb Kofta Kebabs with Caul Fat
- 700 g minced (ground) lamb
- 70 g red onion (very finely chopped)
- 1/2 tsp all spice
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp fresh mint (chopped)
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 1/2 tsp Apello pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 piece pork caul fat (around 300g)
- Using your hands, combine all the ingredients (except the caul fat). Work the mixture hard to ensure everything is very well combined. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour for the flavours to develop.
- After that, take a small piece of the lamb mix and roll into a small ball (ping-pong sized). Squeeze the two sides so that it's more oval shaped. Arrange on a plate while you repeat with all the mixture.
- Take the caul fat and unravel a part on a large chopping board and lay flat. Take a kofta and gently wrap in one layer of caul fat around the kofta. Using a knife, cut around the kofta on the board to trim the caul fat. Repeat this process for all the kofta.
- Thread 4 kofta onto flat metal skewers or long wooden skewers that have been soaked for 2 hours.
- Heat a BBQ 'til hot and then grill the meat for around 8-10 minutes, turning regularly to avoid burning. The BBQ will most likely flare up as the caul fat melts. Don't worry too much - it's all flavour! But obviously, if there's an inferno of fire - keep the kofta moving. Grilling on a bbq is the way to go, but you can also use an oven grill - just heat to hot, then grill for 10-12 minutes, turning regularly.
- Remove the kofta and rest for a couple of minutes before serving.
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