Charcuterie is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, sausage, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, confit from pork. Charcuterie is part of the garde manger chef's repertoire. Intended as a way to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration, they are prepared today for their flavors derived from the preservation processes; the French word for a person who prepares charcuterie is charcutier translated as "pork butcher". This has led to the mistaken belief; the Food Lover's Companion, says, "it refers to the products pork specialties such as pâtés, galantines, crépinettes, etc. which are made and sold in a delicatessen-style shop called a charcuterie." The 1961 edition of Larousse Gastronomique defines it as "he art of preparing various meats, in particular pork, in order to present them in the most diverse ways." In the first century AD, Strabo recorded the import of salted meat from Gaul and the Romans may have been the first to regulate the trade of charcuterie as they wrote laws regulating the proper production of pork joints, but the French have had some influence.
In 15th-century France, local guilds regulated tradesmen in the food production industry in each city. The guilds that produced charcuterie were those of the charcutiers; the members of this guild produced a traditional range of cooked or salted and dried meats, which varied, sometimes distinctively, from region to region. The only "raw" meat the charcutiers were allowed to sell was unrendered lard; the charcutier prepared numerous items, including pâtés, sausages, bacon and head cheese. These preservation methods ensured. Forcemeat is a mixture of lean meat emulsified with fat; the emulsification can be accomplished by sieving, or puréeing the ingredients. The emulsification may either be smooth or coarse in texture, depending on the desired consistency of the final product. Forcemeats are used in the production of numerous items found in charcuterie. Meats used in the production of forcemeats include pork, seafood, game meats, game birds and pork livers. Pork fatback is used for the fat portion of forcemeat, as it has a somewhat neutral flavor.
In US usage, there are four basic styles of forcemeat. 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 seasoned, rested and placed into desired vessel. Country-style forcemeats are a combination of pork fat and garnish ingredients; the finished product has a coarse texture. The third style is gratin; the final style is mousseline, which are light in texture using lean cuts of meat from veal, fish, or shellfish. The resulting texture comes from the addition of eggs and cream to this forcemeat; the word sausage is derived through French from the Latin sal,'salt', as the sausage-making technique involves placing ground or chopped meat along with salt into a tube. The tubes can vary, but the more common animal-derived tubes include sheep, hog, or cattle intestinal linings. Additionally, animal stomachs and bladders, as well as edible artificial casings produced from collagen and inedible plant cellulose or paper are used.
Inedible casings are used to shape and age the sausage. The two main variants of sausage cooked. Fresh sausages involve the production of raw meat placed into casings to be cooked at a time, whereas cooked sausages are heated during production and are ready to eat at the end of production. Emulsified sausages are cooked sausages with a fine texture, using the combination of pork, beef, or poultry with fat, cure and water; these ingredients are emulsified at high speed in a food blender. During this process, the salt dissolves the muscle proteins, which helps to suspend the fat molecules. Temperature is an important part of the process: if the temperature rises above 60 °F for pork or 70 °F for beef, the emulsion will not hold and fat will leak from the sausage during the cooking process. Pâté and terrines are cooked in a pastry crust or an earthenware container. Both the earthenware container and the dish itself are called a terrine. Pâté and terrine are similar: The term pâté suggests a finer-textured forcemeat using liver, whereas terrines are more made of a coarser forcemeat.
The meat is ground, along with heavy seasoning, which may include fat and aromatics. The seasoning is important, as they will be served cold, which mutes the flavors; the mixture is placed into a lined mold and cooked in a water bath to control the temperature, which will keep the forcemeat from separating, as the water bath slows the heating process of the terrine. Pâté and terrine are cooked to 160 °F, while terrine made of foie gras are cooked to an internal temperature of 120 °F. After the proper temperature is reached, the terrine is removed from the oven and placed into a cooling unit topped with a weight to compact the contents of the terrine, it is allowed to rest for several days to allow the flavors to blend. Galantine is a chilled poultry product created after
Pâté is a paste, pie or loaf consisting of a forcemeat that at least contains liver. Common additions include ground meat from pork, fish or beef, vegetables, herbs and either wine or brandy. Pâté can be served either hot or cold, but it is considered to develop its fullest flavor after a few days of chilling. In French or Belgian cuisine, pâté may be baked in a crust as pie or loaf, in which case it is called pâté en croûte, or baked in a terrine, in which case it is known as pâté en terrine. Traditionally, a forcemeat mixture cooked and served in a terrine is called a terrine; the most famous pâté is pâté de foie gras, made from the livers of fattened geese. Pâté en croûte is baked with the insertion of "chimneys" on top: small tubes or funnels that allow steam to escape, thus keeping the pastry crust from turning damp or soggy. Baked pâté en croûte develops an air bubble under the crust top as the meat mixture shrinks during baking. In the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Sweden and Austria, some liver pâtés are shaped as a soft spreadable sausage, called leverworst, pate or lebăr, májpástétom/májkrém, or Leberwurst.
In the United States these are sometimes called "liverwurst", or braunschweiger. Some liverwursts can be sliced. In the US, sliced liverwurst is used as a sandwich filler. Others are spreadable as are most French or Belgian pâté. In Scandinavia, leverpostej is a popular baked pâté similar to the French pâté en terrine made of lard and pork liver. In Poland, pasztet is made from poultry, venison, ham, or pork with eggs, bread crumbs, a varied range of additions, such as pepper, tomato sauce, spices, ginger, cheese, or sugar. In Russia and Ukraine, the dish is prepared with beef, goose or chicken liver and thus is known as pechyonochniy pashtet, however other meats can be used. Unlike the Western European method the liver is first cooked and mixed with butter or fat and seasoning such as fresh or fried onion, carrots and herbs, it can be further cooked, but most is used without any other preparation. In Russia, the pâté is served on a plate or in a bowl, is molded into the shapes of animals, such as hedgehogs.
A similar recipe is known as chopped liver in Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine, where schmaltz is used instead of butter and hard-boiled eggs are added. Another common type of pâté in Jewish cuisine popular in Russia and Ukraine, is vorschmack or gehakte herring. In the former Yugoslavia, pašteta or паштета is a popular bread spread made from chicken, turkey or less tuna or salmon. In Vietnam, pâté is used on bánh mì baguette type sandwiches. Pâté of this type is more made from liver; the dictionary definition of pâté at Wiktionary