Sheftalia (Cypriot Lamb and Pork Sausage) Recipe

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Sheftalia is a simple Cypriot lamb-and-pork sausage that's wrapped in caul fat and cooked over a live fire. Joshua Bousel

Instead of being bound in traditional sausage casing, Cypriot sheftalia (lamb-and-pork sausage) is wrapped in sheets of caul fat, which renders over a live fire. As the fat drips, little towers of flame lick the meat, creating a super crusty exterior that's still moist and juicy inside.

Why this recipe works:

  • Adding fat into the meat mixture ensures a juicy, flavorful sausage.
  • The minimal seasonings of red onion and parsley give the sausage an uncomplicated, meat-first flavor.
  • The caul fat wrapping renders on the grill, creating flare-ups that give the exterior a deep, crusty sear.

Note: If you grind the meat at home, you will need 1 pound of lamb, 1 pound of pork, and then 1/2 pound of pork fatback (totaling 2 1/2 pounds); if you decide to buy ground meat, you can get 1 1/4 pounds of ground lamb and 1 1/4 pounds of ground pork, but make sure they're both at least 30% fat. Caul fat, a thin membrane that's laced with fat, can be purchased from a good butcher.

Recipe Facts

Active: 90 mins
Total: 90 mins
Serves: 6 to 8 servings

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless lamb shoulder or leg of lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes (or 1 1/4 pounds ground lamb, at least 30% fat; see note)

  • 1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes (or 1 1/4 pounds ground pork, at least 30% fat; see note)

  • 1/2 pound pork fatback, cut into 1-inch cubes (if grinding at home; see note)

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion

  • 1/3 cup packed finely chopped fresh parsley

  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 pound caul fat (see note)

  • Greek pocketless pita, warmed, for serving

  • 1 lemon, cut in half, for serving

Directions

  1. If grinding at home: Place lamb, pork, and fatback in a large bowl. Add salt and toss to coat evenly. Place in refrigerator until chilled, at least 30 minutes. Place meat grinder parts, including medium and small dies, in freezer to chill.

  2. Grind meat and fat through meat grinder fitted with a medium die. Switch to small die and grind meat mixture once more.

  3. Place ground meat in large mixing bowl. Add onion, parsley, and black pepper to meat mixture. Using a large spoon or hands, mix sausage until all ingredients are thoroughly distributed.

  4. Form a small sausage patty; place rest of sausage mixture in refrigerator. Cook patty in a small frying pan over medium-high heat until cooked through. Taste and adjust seasonings of sausage if necessary.

  5. Lay 1 piece of caul fat on a work surface. Break off about 2 ounces of sausage and form into a cylinder. Place sausage 1-inch from top edge of caul fat. Fold top edge over sausage, followed by both sides. Roll sausage in caul fat until fully encased, then cut off remaining caul fat. Repeat with remaining caul fat and sausage mixture.

  6. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Grill sausages over medium-high direct heat until they register 160°F on an instant-read thermometer when inserted into center. Let rest for 5 minutes. Serve immediately with warm pita and lemon halves.

Special equipment

Meat Grinder (optional), Grill

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
390 Calories
21g Fat
29g Carbs
24g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 390
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 76mg 25%
Sodium 678mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 59mg 294%
Calcium 81mg 6%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 539mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)