Part two of level three was all about meat – forcemeat. By definition forcemeats are seasoned mixtures of chopped or minced protein bound with some sort of liquid or fat.
During our two weeks, we learned and practiced a variety of charcuterie techniques including curing, dry curing, wet curing, meat grinding, cold smoking, hot smoking, brining, etc. I have never been exposed to charcuterie before, and while it’s a little slower pace than family meal, I was surprised how much I liked it. It’s a very precise skill and you have to know your plan of action before starting. For example, you need to know when to add which ingredients, how to assemble the product, what method to cook it and for how long.
Most people have bought sausages in a store before, but am not really sure how it’s made – me either! There are a variety of casings for the sausage depending on the type of meat you are using. We had fun making the garlic sausage, chorizo, wild boar sausage, hot dogs and pigs in a blanket.
We also made doughs for the Pate En Croute and Salmon Pate En Croute.
At the end of the course, the students display their creations for the whole school to taste. We even got creative with our sauces to match our dishes. Our team made mustard, honey mustard, chive cream, homemade ketchup, cumin mayo, sriracha mayo, apple and pear chutney, and soy & sesame sauce for the Thai sausage.
Some of my favorite plates were the sausages, sriracha candied bacon, chocolate dipped bacon, Thai sausage, hot dogs, seafood sausage…We even made blood sausage – yes you read that right – blood sausage. I tasted a little bit of it, after all I want to be a Chef and need to step outside my comfort zone!