The Art of Charcuterie by John Kowalski and The Culinary Institute of America includes recipes like Pastrami (Brined, Spiced, Smoked Beef); Dry-Cured Pancetta; Mousseline-Style Forcemeat; plus articles like Concerns Over the Use of Nitrate and Nitrites.
This is the quickest forcemeat to make. It is typically used for lean, light meats or fish. Usually only one variety of meat is used (although mixtures work well) and unwhipped heavy cream is used as the source of fat. The cream is used to adjust the consistency as required by the type of meat or fish used. This forcemeat is quite stable during cooking since the fat is already emulsified in the cream. The area of caution comes in making sure you don't overwork the forcemeat in the food processor once the cream has been added.
1. Cube the meat or fish. Chill.
2. Grind through a chilled grinder using a coarse plate (3/8 in/9 mm), then a medium plate (1/4 in/6 mm). Chill.
3. Combine the chilled ground meat mixture with the salt, egg(s), and seasonings. Purée in a food processor until smooth.
4. Add the cream slowly and pulse in. An alternative way to do this is to remove the mixture from the food processor and place it in a mixing bowl over an ice bath, slowly working the cream into the meat with a rubber spatula or spoon.
5. Test the mixture for seasoning and consistency; adjust as necessary.
6. Use for the desired preparations.
Fat contributes greatly to the eating quality of forcemeats. It enhances the flavor and the juiciness. Pork fat is preferred because it is softer, it melts at lower temperature, and it is easier to chop or grind, and the preferred pork fat is jowl fat. Fatback is used for forcemeal for terrines, galantines, and pâtés; jowl fat is used predominantly for sausage making. U.S. government regulations limit cooked sausage to 30 percent fat.
Water, in the form of ice, is used to regulate heat generated by machine friction. This helps keep meat and fat from warming excessively during processing.
Salt makes proteins soluble; that is, it draws the water-soluble protein, myosin, from meat to act as the primary binder. In addition, it adds flavor and retards the growth of bacteria. (See "Preserving with Salt," page 73 of the book.)
The formula for mousseline forcemeat is 1 lb/454 g lean white meat or seafood, 1 tsp/5 mL kosher salt, 1 large egg (or egg white for mild-flavored products like fillet of sole or flounder), 1 cup/240 mL heavy cream, and ground pepper as needed.
Slowly add the cream to the mixture and continue processing.
A mousseline should be pressed through a tamis to ensure that it is completely smooth.
To blend the mousseline properly, it is vital to scrape down the bowl periodically as you process.
This page created February 2011
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