The caul, or web-like blanket of protective, nutrient rich fat that surrounds the guts of animals, isn’t used much by the home cook. Let’s fix that, yes?
When we harvest our animals, I clean and cut the caul into pieces that would roughly wrap around a terrine or the size of a roast we typically eat. I then roll and freeze the caul until needed.
Those are the two main ways we use caul. If I’m using it to wrap a roast it’s because I’m using a lean roast like round or a sirloin.
Typically, when recipes call for caul, without the distinction of the animal source, they’re referring to pork caul. Pork caul is quite delicate, white, and has a more obvious lacy structure. It’s brilliant as a wrap for loaves, terrines, pates, sausages etc. It tends to melt into whatever you’re making with it.
Beef or bison caul, (in pictures) on the other hand is much more robust in density, flavour, and structure. It won’t disappear when it’s cooked with. You can see, in the pictures, how I use it to wrap a rather lower fat, rustic terrine of venison and rabbit, similar to how one would use a dough crust. With a lean roast, cooked on a slow braise, it will mostly saturate the meat, but it won’t melt away entirely.
The flavour of beef caul from a grass fed animal is not bland. Of course, the more mature the animal, the stronger the flavour. We love the earthy terroir of a ruminant animal, well-lived, well-died, well-aged.
If you’re in the “grass fed meat is gamey” camp, I encourage you to reclaim the tastebuds that have been hijacked with grain fed, immature, bland meat that relies on seasonings for flavour. Good beef needs salt, a skilled kitchen witch, and little else.