Crepinettes are sausage patties wrapped in caul fat. Their name is derived from the French word for caul, crepine, hence crepinettes, or little caul packets. They’re an old-fashioned, easy and fun way to craft homemade sausages for a casual get together, especially good in summer when it’s likely to be grilling weather.
The only trick to making crepinettes is obtaining the caul fat, also called veil fat or lace fat in American butchery. It used to be a staple in butcher shops, then pretty much disappeared with the rise of supermarkets and pre-packaged meats. Happily, with the reappearance of “real” butchers in both brick and mortar stores and farmers’ markets, you can probably find one that offers caul for sale. Go ahead and purchase a few pounds. It refreezes without loss of savor, so you can use it in small amounts for various purposes as you cook through the year.
Makes 20 to 24 3-ounce patties
1 pound fresh spinach, chopped, washed, and drained
2 pounds ground pork, not too lean
1 pound ground chicken
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon powdered cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 pound caul fat
Fresh basil leaves, for wrapping the patties
1. Shake off excess moisture from the washed spinach and place it, still a little wet, in a microwave bowl or large saute pan. Cover and microwave or cook on the stove top over medium heat until quite wilted, 3 to 7 minutes depending on the method and the kind of spinach. Transfer to a colander and set aside to cool completely.
2. When the spinach is cool, squeeze out excess liquid without wringing it dry and place it in a large bowl. Add the pork, chicken, and spices and gently knead with your hands to mix thoroughly. Cover and set aside to chill in the refrigerator for an hour or two, up to 2 days before wrapping in caul.
3. As demonstrated in the video above, to wrap the crepinettes lay a sheet of caul fat on a counter and cut off any large fat globules. Place a basil leaf at one corner an inch or so from the edge. Set a 3-ounce (approximately 1/3 cup) portion of the sausage mixture on the basil leaf. Starting at the corner, fold the caul over the sausage, trimming it to size as you go, to wrap neatly. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before cooking, but crepinettes do not freeze well.
4. To cook the crepinettes, prepare a medium grill or film a large, heavy skillet with oil. Place the crepinettes in an uncrowded layer on the grill directly over the heat source or in the skillet over medium heat. (Work in batches if necessary.) Cook, turning once or twice, until nicely golden on both sides and no longer pink in the center but still moist, about 20 minutes either way. Serve warm or at room temperature.