Chef Michael Psilakis of NYC’s Kefi loaned us his recipe for the phenomenal Cypriot sausages known as sheftalia. Try them at home or at the restaurant, but try them soon!
These super-fresh mini homemade sausages from Cyprus are terrific on a table of meze. Caul fat is traditionally used to make this sausage, but you may substitute regular sausage casing if caul fat is not available.
If your caul fat is frozen, be careful that it doesn’t pull apart into small pieces while thawing. You can freeze, or even refreeze, any leftover caul fat, which is helpful because you will probably not be able to buy a small quantity. If you plan to refreeze, try not to bring it past 45°F. The best way to defrost caul fat is to place it in salted water in the refrigerator.
- 2 (1/4-inch-thick) slices of Spanish or sweet onion
- extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
- 8 ounces ground beef
- 4 ounces ground pork
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill
- 1 scallion, green part only, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dry Greek oregano
- 1 tablespoon garlic, mashed into a purée
- About 2 ounces pork caul fat
- Serve with lemon wedges and extra-virgin olive oil, or tzatziki
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs such as dill, parsley and/or chives
For the sausages
Brush the onion slices with a little oil and season with kosher salt and pepper. On a hot grill pan or in a cast-iron skillet, grill the onion until tender and slightly char-marked. Separate into rings and finely chop.
In a bowl, combine the onion, beef, pork, mustard, coriander, parsley, dill, scallion, oregano and garlic purée. Season liberally with kosher salt and pepper. With clean hands, combine the mixture evenly, and form six football-shaped sausages.
Wrap each sausage in a single layer of caul fat, trimming off any extra bits and pieces. If you like, refrigerate, uncovered, for a couple of hours; this will help dry the surface and give you an even better sear on the grill.
Preheat a charcoal or gas grill, or a ridged cast-iron grill pan, until hot. Brush the sausages lightly with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until firm and char-marked. Transfer the meat to a plate and drizzle with some lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil, or top with a spoonful of tzatziki. Scatter with chopped fresh herbs.
Skewer sausages lengthwise after grilling, for a fantastic meze.