Monday, October 22, 2012

Caul Fat? What the heck is it?

Butcher's are a dying breed. What we know as butchers at our local markets are not really butchers, they are just meat cutters who know little about the animals and their parts. I went into the market this morning looking to see if I can order caul fat. What is caul fat you ask? It is a membrane found in pigs that is used for adding moisture and flavor to chicken, roasts, & sausages. Restaurants use this product to help hold together roulades of meat. It also adds flavor to lean meat and the caul fat is rolled over the meat and almost entirely disappears once the cooking process is finished.
Caul Fat

After not succeeding in getting the product ordered from my market I proceeded to call every meat processor within 30 miles and no luck. Some of them had no clue to what I was talking about.  In many ways this is scary. Who processes our food and where does it come from? Nothing is local anymore and it is all mass produced. No wonder we have so many recalls on meat!

After I started writing this post I made one more attempt at finding someone who had caul fat. I looked at and I could buy 10 pounds for almost $50 before shipping. What am I going to do with 10 pounds of this stuff?  Thank goodness I didn't have to resort to that because I found a place in Chino with the product. Hallelujah! Hottinger Family Meats is my life saver. Now I get to play around with the product.

Caul fat wrapped chicken breast
What am I going to do with caul fat? I decided to wrap it around stuffed chicken breast. The product is pretty easy to work with. My mistake was after assembling the rolls I put them back in the refrigerator. This made the meat and caul fat too cold so I didn't get the sear and color I wanted on the finished product. What it did do was add some wonderful flavor and moisture to a meat that can dry out quickly.

The finished product with mushroom risotto
Should you try using caul fat? If you can get it the answer is YES! Why not experiment and learn something new. Failure comes from not trying and expanding your knowledge in anything. To those of you who try this product I wish you luck and tasty eats.