The art of preparing various meats through curing, grinding, cooking or smoking are the foundations of charcuterie. The use of forcemeat in pâtés, terrines and various other derivatives is a hallmark of the craft. Sausages and salumi, bacon and ham, are all considered part of the tradition of charcuterie. Charcuterie is derived from French traditions and terminology that has evolved and transformed over time.
A forcemeat mixture of meats, fish, seafood or vegetables baked in a pastry shell or mold. Pâté en croute specifically refers to the pastry that encased the forcemeat. Today pâtés are loosely defined and can be prepared in pastry crusts or wrapped in fat back, leeks, or ham.
From a term for the earthenware dish that was traditionally used for the preparation of a terrine. Today the practical terminology of terrines and pâtés is often interchangeable. Terrines can be prepared with a forcemeat, molded foie gras, or layered vegetables bound with aspic or fresh cheese.
Traditional preparation of a galantine required poultry to be boned completely and then stuffed with a forcemeat and reshaped to its original form. Today’s interpretation of a galantine is closer to a roulade, prepared with boned poultry such as chicken or duck wrapped in their own skin. Game meats like rabbit or fish such as salmon are also prepared in a similar fashion. A galantine is wrapped in cheesecloth or plastic wrap and tied to hold its shape. It can be poached or roasted. It is usually presented cold and can be glazed with aspic to enhance the presentation.
This is a smaller relative of the galantine that traditionally utilizes the boned, leg portions of poultry. They are stuffed with forcemeat and braised or roasted. Ballotine are traditionally served hot and may be presented as a main entrée.
Prepared in a manner similar to contemporary galantines, a roulade refers to a rolled item creating a pinwheel effect. A flattened chicken breast or butterflied pork loin are two examples. A roulade can be filled with just about anything and served hot or cold.
Traditionally a mixture of pork and pork fat cooked until they fall apart. The meat and fat are then shredded and mixed until thoroughly blended, and spooned into small crocks. The surface is sealed with a layer of aspic or fat to preserve it. Rillettes can be prepared with any type of meat, fish or poultry.
A hot pâté baked in a crust. It is round and pie-shaped and is usually served as a main course.
Pains and Gateaux
Pains (breads) and gateaux (cakes) were the words used in French cuisine to describe the more simple pâtés and terrines. A pain de viandes or meat bread is a pâté formed into an oblong shape, while a gateau de viandes, a meat cake, is usually round.
A savory parfait refers to a delicate mixture of light meat or poultry, fish, or seafood that is cooked and pureed, bound with gelatin, and then fortified with whipped cream and/or egg whites. It is then molded in a terrine or individual form. Parfaits also utilize a raw mousseline forcemeat in which case they are then baked