Forcemeat is a mixture of ground, lean meat emulsified with fat. The emulsification can be accomplished by either grinding, sieving, or pureeing the ingredients. The emulsification may either be smooth or coarse, depending on the desired consistency of the final product. Forcemeats are used in the production of numerous items found in charcuterie, such items include quenelles, sausages, pâtés, terrines, roulades, and galantines. Forcemeats are usually produced from raw proteins, except in the case of a gratin forcemeat. Proteins commonly used in the production of forcemeats include pork, fish (pike, trout, or salmon), seafood, game meats (venison, boar, or rabbit), poultry, game birds, veal, and pork livers. Pork fatback is often used for the fat portion of a forcemeat as it has a somewhat neutral flavor.
The four basic styles
- Straight forcemeats are produced by progressively grinding equal parts pork and pork fat with a third, dominant meat, which can be pork or another meat. The proteins are cubed and then seasoned, cured, rested, ground and finally placed into the desired vessel.
- Country-style forcemeats are a combination of pork and pork fat, often with the addition of pork liver and garnish ingredients. The texture of this finished product is coarse.
- Gratin forcemeats have a portion of the main protein browned; the French term gratin translates to "browned".
- Mousseline forcemeats are very light in texture, utilizing lean cuts of meat usually from veal, poultry, fish, or shellfish. The resulting texture comes from the addition of eggs and cream to this forcemeat.
Often the only binder in a forcemeat is the physical structure of the protein utilized. Sometimes a secondary binder is necessary to hold the emulsion. These binders are generally needed when preparing the country-style and gratin forcemeats. The three type of binders include eggs, nonfat dry milk powder, and panades. A panade can be made from starchy ingredients which aid in the binding process; these include well-cooked potatoes which have been pureed, milk soaked bread, or pâte à choux.
Full article ▸