Helim, Sausages, Pickled Shallots and Honey

This delicious dish from Hasan Semay’s Big Has Home cookbook makes a wonderful, summery lunch on its own but also works well as part of a more lavish spread.

As suggested, we switched out the pastirma for chorizo (as that’s easier to find in our neck of the woods). The combination of flavours and textures is a winner, and very easy to make.

Helim Sausages Pickled Shallots and Honey

Read our full review of Big Has Home by Hasan Semay.


Helim Sausages Pickled Shallots and Honey

Helim, Sausages, Pickled Shallots and Honey

These are two things that we grew up on as kids. Mum wouldn’t let us eat pastirma often as she said, ‘It makes the house smell like garlic and lamb’. Mum’s not a huge fan of lamb and also never used garlic until I became a chef, as she claimed it made her smell. That’s changed now – Mum always smells like clean linen and eats garlic in almost everything I make.
Servings 3
Author Hasan Semay


  • 2 pastirma or chorizo sausages
  • 250 g (9 oz) block of helim
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • dried flowering oregano
  • a small bunch of chives, finely chopped
  • sea salt

For the pickle

  • 350 ml (12 fl oz) red wine vinegar
  • 5 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp sea salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 4 banana shallots, cut in half lengthways (skin on)


  • Start off with the pickle. Put all the ingredients except the shallots into a saucepan with 175ml/6fl oz water, bring to the boil, then turn off the heat and set aside.
  • Heat a dry frying pan until it’s just starting to smoke, then rub a little oil and sprinkle some salt on the fleshy side of your shallots. Stick your shallots in the pan, exposed-side down, and don’t move them. We want the shallots to colour as this is going to give our pickle extra dimension and make it a little less harsh. Char the shallots for about 4 minutes until they are completely blackened, then turn them over and turn off the heat. Let the residual heat in the pan cook the other side of the shallots. I add my pickle liquor to the pan while the pickle is still hot so the shallots can sit in it while it’s warm and take the edge off. Let the shallots sit in the pickle for at least 3 hours. Just remember to take the skins off them before you serve.
  • Peel the skins off the pastirma – the easiest way to do this is to make a slit along them lengthways and peel the skin off under cold running water. The water makes the skin tighten and easier to peel. Cut each sausage into four equal rounds. Take the helim out of the packet, give it a rinse under the tap and cut it into four equal slices, about finger-width.
  • Stick a little glug of olive oil into a frying pan over a medium heat and add your pastirma. Treat the pastirma like chorizo, let the oil bleed out but don’t worry about cooking it all the way through as it’s cured. I let mine slowly fry for about 5 minutes, getting it a little bit crispy. Stick your pastirma in a bowl and set aside.
  • Give the same frying pan a little wipe and add another glug of olive oil to cook the helim. Fry over a medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side, until it’s golden and crispy.
  • Add the pastirma back to the pan with the helim, along with the honey. Squeeze in the lemon juice and scatter over some flowering oregano. Let the honey bubble for about 30 seconds. Stick the helim and pastirma into a serving bowl along with their cooking juices.
  • Add a few petals from the pickled shallots. Finish with a scattering of chives over the top. Eat with a nice bit of bread or enjoy on its own.

We substituted chorizo for the pastirma, as suggested and loved the resulting dish, a wonderful and summery lunch.

Helim, Sausages, Pickled Shallots and Honey

Made the recipe? Let us know how you got on in the comments.


Kavey Eats received a review copy of Big Has Home by Hasan Semay from publishers Pavilion. Book photography by Haarala Hamilton. Home cooking images by Kavita Favelle.

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2 Comments to "Helim, Sausages, Pickled Shallots and Honey"

  1. Dragos

    This sounds like an incredible combination of flavours! The pickled shallots and honey elevate the classic sausage and bread combination to a new level. I love how you added your own twist to a classic dish. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing the recipe!


    The suggestion to use chorizo if we didn’t have pastirma was part of the original recipe, so in this case, no extra twist from us, but I agree it’s an incredible combination of flavours! Thanks for commenting, hope you enjoy it!


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