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How to Make Forcemeats

How to Make Forcemeats

Each type of forcemeat results in a different texture once cooked. Let to right, top to bottom: straight fourcemeat, country-style forcemeat, gratin fourcemeat, mousseline fourcemeat (photo, CIA)

Culinary Institute of America

One of the basic components of charcuterie and garde manger items is a preparation known as a forcemeat. A forcemeat is a lean meat and fat emulsion that is established when the ingredients are processed together by grinding, sieving, or puréeing. Depending on the grinding and emulsifying methods and the intended use, the forcemeat may have a smooth consistency or may be heavily textured and coarse. The result must not be just a mixture but an emulsion, so that it will hold together properly when sliced. Forcemeats should have a rich and pleasant taste and feel in the mouth.

Forcemeats may be used for quenelles, sausages, pâtés, terrines, roulades, and galantines, as well as to prepare stuffings for other items (a salmon forcemeat may be used to fill a paupiette of sole, for example). Each forcemeat style will have a particular texture. The four basic forcemeat styles are:

Straight forcemeats combine pork and pork fat with a dominant meat in equal parts, through a process of progressive grinding and emulsification. The meats and fat are cut into cubes, seasoned, cured, rested, ground, and processed.

Country-style forcemeats are rather coarse in texture. They are traditionally made from pork and pork fat, often with a percentage of liver and other garnish ingredients.

• In gratin forcemeats, some portion of the dominant meat is sautéed and cooled before it is ground. The term gratin means “browned.”

Mousseline, a very light forcemeat, is based on tender, lean white meats such as veal, poultry, fish, or shellfish. The inclusion of cream and eggs gives mousselines their characteristic light texture and consistency.

1. Ingredients
2. Making Forcemeats
3. Testing a Forcemeat
4. Types of Forcemeat