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Fatback Joe
12-15-2016, 09:44 AM
Caul fat, also known as lace fat, mesentery, crépine or fat netting, is the thin membrane which surrounds the stomach internal organs of some animals, such as cows, sheep, and pigs, also known as the greater omentum.

Thank you, Wikipedia :mrgreen:

I found some for sale at a winter farmers market in Memphis recently and picked it up although I had no real plans for its use at the time. We recently depleted our stock of smoked meatballs in the freezer so I figured I would use some of it for that. Didn't really plan on taking pics but then I saw the "I've never cooked that" throwdown and figured I might as well.

Made our standard meatballs at the house, I don't have the recipe right in front of me, but there is nothing too unusual about them. We do an equal mix of lamb, beef, and pork for the meat.

Pulled off some of the caul fat and soaked it in water for a couple of hours in the fridge to make it easier to work with and get rid of any potential funk. Changed the water a couple of times along the way.

http://i1052.photobucket.com/albums/s448/fatbackjoe/Caul%20Meatballs/IMG_8331_zpsdsvec4on.jpg (http://s1052.photobucket.com/user/fatbackjoe/media/Caul%20Meatballs/IMG_8331_zpsdsvec4on.jpg.html)

Mixed up the meat, seasonings, etc and made them into two ounce balls.

http://i1052.photobucket.com/albums/s448/fatbackjoe/Caul%20Meatballs/IMG_8402_zpscaxidnj9.jpg (http://s1052.photobucket.com/user/fatbackjoe/media/Caul%20Meatballs/IMG_8402_zpscaxidnj9.jpg.html)

Each one got wrapped in caul fat.

http://i1052.photobucket.com/albums/s448/fatbackjoe/Caul%20Meatballs/IMG_8405_zps1zmxeunc.jpg (http://s1052.photobucket.com/user/fatbackjoe/media/Caul%20Meatballs/IMG_8405_zps1zmxeunc.jpg.html)

Didn't get a good group photo, but here is one tray ready for the smoker.

http://i1052.photobucket.com/albums/s448/fatbackjoe/Caul%20Meatballs/IMG_8410_zpsljfb2ars.jpg (http://s1052.photobucket.com/user/fatbackjoe/media/Caul%20Meatballs/IMG_8410_zpsljfb2ars.jpg.html)

Into the smoker at 275 with cherry wood for the smoke. Checked on them around 20 minutes in as I was curious to see how they were looking.

http://i1052.photobucket.com/albums/s448/fatbackjoe/Caul%20Meatballs/IMG_8438_zpsa4y8brus.jpg (http://s1052.photobucket.com/user/fatbackjoe/media/Caul%20Meatballs/IMG_8438_zpsa4y8brus.jpg.html)

You can see where it is rendering away. The ended up staying that way through the whole cook......which wasn't long.

I was kind of surprised that you could still see the caul when I pulled them from the smoker. I expected it to pretty much be gone when it was done. Generally with caul fat making crepinettes in a pan the fat is gone or just a barely visible outline when done.

I was even more surprised that as the meatballs cooled, the caul regained its color. Made sense when I thought about it, but it was not what I was expecting to see.

http://i1052.photobucket.com/albums/s448/fatbackjoe/Caul%20Meatballs/IMG_8470_zpsomz12qaj.jpg (http://s1052.photobucket.com/user/fatbackjoe/media/Caul%20Meatballs/IMG_8470_zpsomz12qaj.jpg.html)

Here is a couple that were for "quality control"

http://i1052.photobucket.com/albums/s448/fatbackjoe/Caul%20Meatballs/IMG_8483_zpsepgmfimp.jpg (http://s1052.photobucket.com/user/fatbackjoe/media/Caul%20Meatballs/IMG_8483_zpsepgmfimp.jpg.html)

Meatball done and cooled for a few minutes and the fat is back to white.

Cooled them down the rest of the way, kept a few out for supper the next night, and vacuumed the rest for restocking the freezer.

http://i1052.photobucket.com/albums/s448/fatbackjoe/Caul%20Meatballs/IMG_8486_zpsnkrqcjon.jpg (http://s1052.photobucket.com/user/fatbackjoe/media/Caul%20Meatballs/IMG_8486_zpsnkrqcjon.jpg.html)

The next night we had spaghetti and meatballs and pics never entered my mind. :oops: Hit me as we were cleaning up. I remembered I had made a patty with some of the extra pork that got wrapped and got smoked with the meatballs so used that to have sort of a pic to finish up the thread. On just the generic store bought garlic bread, some sauce and a bit of cheese. Forced myself to eat it. :mrgreen:

http://i1052.photobucket.com/albums/s448/fatbackjoe/Caul%20Meatballs/IMG_8495_zpsqj6onkqe.jpg (http://s1052.photobucket.com/user/fatbackjoe/media/Caul%20Meatballs/IMG_8495_zpsqj6onkqe.jpg.html)

The caul fat really added to things. Nothing really on the flavor front, but definitely with the mouth feel. My wife described them as silky. This is how I will be doing them going forward.........well, so long as I can find the caul fat.

bbqwizard
12-15-2016, 09:48 AM
Interesting. I like it!:thumb:

55Drum
12-15-2016, 10:00 AM
That looks awesome!!

toymaster
12-15-2016, 10:00 AM
Looks different. The few times I used caul fat, it rendered completely, but it was for longer cooks. :thumb::thumb:

Fatback Joe
12-15-2016, 10:19 AM
Looks different. The few times I used caul fat, it rendered completely, but it was for longer cooks. :thumb::thumb:

Yeah, that was what I was expecting to happen. When we reheated and let them simmer in the sauce the next day, it was pretty much the case.

Learned something new on this one.

ssv3
12-15-2016, 10:39 AM
Very cool. I dig it. :thumb:

BillN
12-15-2016, 06:30 PM
Nice job, wish I could have sampled some of those.

CakeM1x
12-15-2016, 06:54 PM
You're one creative fellow Joe. Awesome post!

Stingerhook
12-15-2016, 08:23 PM
Dayuuuum!

McSpazatron
12-15-2016, 09:47 PM
That really dresses up a meat ball! Definitely an A+ on the presentation. Those things look like they were lovingly crafted by a Belgian chocolatier in a white chef hat. I can imagine that layer would add a very nice dimension to the texture.

gtr
12-15-2016, 09:58 PM
I like what's going on in the lab there! One of the guys who works at a butcher I go to said he cooked a prime rib with cual fat and had great results, so I've been interested in checking that stuff out.

Seefyre
12-15-2016, 10:34 PM
Wow, I luv your balls!! :peace::peace::peace:

Fatback Joe
12-16-2016, 09:10 AM
I like what's going on in the lab there! One of the guys who works at a butcher I go to said he cooked a prime rib with cual fat and had great results, so I've been interested in checking that stuff out.

It is pretty neat stuff. My wife suggested a doing beef wellington with it......twist my arm. :biggrin1: