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Making perfect Pâté et Terrine

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I've got a number of questions about Pâté et Terrine and I would be very grateful if someone more experienced than me will give an advice or share experience.

 

Let's assume we're making country-style French Pâté et Terrine. For example, Pâté de Veau at Porc avec Giber with 1/3 lean pork, 1/3 lean veal, 1/3 game meat and about 20% of pork back fat. Spices, reduced port or madeira, eggs as panada. Will be cooked in an "oven-type" bain-marie.

 

I would suggest to discuss following points, step-by-step:

 

1. What is the best way to make forcemeat? Mince meat with knife? Grind through mechanical grinder?

 

If grinder is fine, what is the best size of grinder plate?

 

Or does it make sense to cut meats in little cubes and pound it in mortar, as Escoffier said?

 

2. The same question about fat. What is the best way to mince fat?

 

3. Is it necessary to cool down meats and fat before mixing? Do you keep forcemeat cold when mixing?

 

4. What is optimal temperature inside of oven? And what about temperature of water in bain-marie?

 

5. What is optimal temperature inside of terrine? Do you cook terrines to minimal temperature of 150F, 160F or 165F?

 

6. Do you press terrine after cooking and during cooling? What weight do you use?

 

7. What do you do with juices? Do you strain them, remove fat, bring to boil and pour over terrine? Do they form jelly or do you add aspic?

 

 

Right, this is a lot of questions. :)

 

 

And if you know something else about Pâtés, it would be really great if you'll share your knowledge.

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 21

pates are pates, and terrines are pates baked or pochedin an earthenweare dish, the two names are not interchangeable.  Pate en croute is pate baked in a crust.

 

Main thing is, keep your ingredients COLD.  If you grind warm, the fat will leach out and you will have dry, greasy forcemeat.

 

For me, best thing is to cut meat and fat into long strips, marinate with flavourings overnight, and them grind.  Start first with the largest die, refrigerate the course farce, pop in the medium die and run the farce through, refrigerate, then with the fine die.  I like to pop the farce into the robo0coupe with some cream or reduced stock for a "final polish" after gong through the fine die.

 

Pates are POACHED in a waterbath, the wter temp should never be over 80 C (have no idea what that is in F, water boils @100 and freezes @ O in C).  If the water boils you will get bubbles in your farce, as well as dry and crumbly texture.

 

You can press the pate with anything you desire, normal weights are #10 cans.

 

Juices should settle back into the pate--ther shouldn't e any leftover.

 

There's lots of books out there on this subject, I'm sure others can suggest some.

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post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

foodpump, thanks a lot! I really appreciate your answer.

 

Actually, measuring temperature in Celsius is much more convenient for me too. We don't use F here as well, so I use C to F converter when writing on this forum. It's a headache, but I think much more people think in F here. :)

 

Ok, I realize that you monitor water temperature and probably don't put water bath inside of an oven (as a lot of receipts say). But what internal temperature should be inside of terrine to consider it ready to eat?

 

As for me, I cook terrines until temperature reaches 72C (160F) right in the middle (usually it means that temperatures of zones that are close to terrine walls are higher). But some people say that this is too high and terrines should not be cooked higher than 66C (150F).

 

On the other hand, a lot of classic receipts say to put water bath into oven heated to 150C (300F) or even 175C (350F) and pour boiling water into water bath. Obviously, this approach is not good if we need to keep temperature inside of terrine below 80C.

 

Also, could you please clarify your point about juices? I don't think that I understand how do you make them settled inside of pate... 

 

Actually, whole concept of pate juiciness is quite unclear to me. On one hand, we spend a lot of effort to make pate moist (mix it cold, cook it low&slow, etc) and keep fats and juices inside. On other hand, we put press over it and squeeze juices and fats out when pate is coked.

 

It looks quite contradicting, doesn't it? :)

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hello? Is anybody here?  smile.gif

post #5 of 21

 There are many ways to make force meat. The "best" method will vary with your desired end result in texture. I almost always use a mechanical grinder for country pate and prefer a blend of fine and coarse. Most other styles I can think of pre-coffee I usually do a double pass through the grinder ending with my finest plate. Fat and meat should be well chilled before grinding and the meat should be kept cold during mixing. I place my grinder blade and plate in the freezer well before using and keep the mixture well chilled.  I mix in a Hobart with the paddle until the meat gets sticky.

For country pate I cook to 150.

I'd suggest grabbing a copy of Ruhlman's "Charcuterie" which is a sound investment for any cook as well as The Art of Garde Manger by Sonnenschmidt.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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post #6 of 21

The juices?

 

If you cook a good quality sausage and immediately cut into it, you will get a lot of juice flowing out.  Wait 10 minutes, or let the sausage cool down overnight and when you cut into it there will be no juice coming out.  This is how meat behaves, and one reason you should never cut a roast immediately after pulling it out of the oven.

 

For terrines, I usually have a piece of wood or nylon cutting board cut to match the opening of the terrine form.  After pulling the terrine out of the oven, I place this board directly on top of the terrine, and place a few un-opened cans on top, when cool, I place the whole thing in the fridge, and remove the cans next morning. I should make it clear that the terrine is still in it's form during the whole time, and most recipies call for lining the form with some kind of fat or even plastic wrap before adding the farce  You can skip this step if you like, but it produces a denser texture, and makes slicing easier.

 

I don't know about pouring boiling water into a water bath.  The whole idea of a waterbath is to keep the temp from exceeding 100 C.  If you do see water boiling in the waterbath, the trick is to toss in a few icecubes, or remove some water and replace with cold water.
 

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post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post

 

 

Main thing is, keep your ingredients COLD.  If you grind warm, the fat will leach out and you will have dry, greasy forcemeat.

 

 

Dry AND greasy seems to be a contradiction, but it happens.  It is sort of like when your bearnaise breaks, for example,  I usually put my coarse chunks in the freezer for maybe 15 - 20 minutes before grinding, and if doing another pass put the meat in the fridge for a bit.

 

You know, I've not had any pate for a while - maybe I'll pick up a tub of chicken livers...

 

mjb.

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post #8 of 21

You can also toss the grinder attachment in the freezer, keeps things cold.  During the die changes, I put the farce in the freezer as well.

 

Grinding the first time is easy and goes fast, When grinding through med. and fine dies, it's hard to get the farce through the grinder, most tend to stuff it down the shaft.  What you need to do is to leave an air shaft in the tube so you don't crate a hydraulic lock.  Goes a lot faster this way.......
 

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post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

DuckFat,

 

I've bought my copy of Ruhlman's "Charcuterie"yesterday. It's funny, but this book for Kindle costs a bit more than in paperback. Didn't know that in US electrons are more expensive compared to paper. :)

 

Although some concepts look strange and some recipes are dangerous (does USDA/FSIS know about this book? :) ), the book is interesting and looks like a very good investment.

 

Also,  I ordered Sonnenschmidt's book and "Garde Manger" from CIA today. Both in paperback, so hopefully they'll arrive here in about a month. :)

 

Thank you for advice!!

 

 

post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

foodpump,

 

Thanks again! Especially for comparison with sausages. Although I make a lot of sausages, I never taught about pate in this way. :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post

You can also toss the grinder attachment in the freezer, keeps things cold.  During the die changes, I put the farce in the freezer as well.

 

What is the smallest size of your die? It's quite interesting for me, because I always taught that it makes sense to take special care about keeping everything very cold ( -1 - +4C) when it's about making emulsified forcemeat. Definetely, emulsified farce should not be heated over +14-16C.

 

On the other hand, I think that it's not necessary to keep coarse or medium forcemeat very cold. As soon as meat and fat particles are relatively large, they won't form an emulsion. So, it's not necessary to keep everything very cold. I think that in this case (coarse-medium forcemeat) it's important not to exceed melting point of fat. But this task is much easier compared to emulsified forcemeat - from my experience it's enough to have grinder's knives sharp (dull knives dramatically increase local temperature when grinding, overheating proteins and melting fats), refrigerated meat (+ 4-5C) and more or less suitable temperature indoors (let's say, not exceeding 20-22C).

 

Do I make a mistake somewhere?

post #11 of 21

Ehh....No.

 

If the meat and fat--although large--are warm,  and the grinder is warm, the friction from the knife and auger will warm the mix up.  Once the warm mix hits the die plate, you will see fat "weeping" around the die-holes, and then it's game over.  Keep it cold, it won't cost you anything.  This has noting to do with emulsion, but has everything to do with fat separating from the meat at around 25 C.  Once this happens, it's very hard to put the fat back into the meat again.....

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post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by romanas View Post

 

What is the smallest size of your die?

 

My small plates are 3 and 4.5mm. No matter how fine I finish I start with a 10mm plate.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 

By the way, I've read a number of Pate et Terrine recipes and it seems that nobody uses USDA Ready-To-Eat tables (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oppde/rdad/fsisnotices/rte_poultry_tables.pdf)... And I have no idea why.

 

For example, M. Ruhlman writes that they cook Pates with poultry to 71C (160F) and pates with pork to 65C (150F), measured with an instant-read thermometer inserted to the center of pate. M. Ruhlman even writes that he prefer pork liver over chicken liver because pork requires lower temperature to be safe...

 

But if it's necessary to keep temperature as low as possible, isn't it better to use USDA RTE tables?

 

For example, 71C gives us 7log10 kill of salmonella in under 20 seconds and such treatment makes chicken safe to eat. But 65C provides the same 7log10 lethality in about five minutes. Pates are cooked low&slow, so it's definitely not a problem to keep it at this temperature for 5 (or even more) minutes.

 

So, isn't it better to cook chicken to 65C (150F) and keep it for 5 minutes? Or even cook it to 60C (140F) and keep it for 35 minutes (not an issue in case of Pates as well)?

 

Or do I miss something?

post #14 of 21

One of my books on terrines and pates suggest using a pair of chefs knives to cut up the forcemeat and fatback used therein, cut to about 1/8 inch square.  If a manual meat grinder is used, then the forcemeat should be frozed and then lightly thawed prior to grinding because the forcemeat will hold up and not "squish" in between the blades of the grinder as I've experienced on occasion.

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-T

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post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 

I've done a small test yesterday. I've prepared 3 samples of forcemeat (70% lean beef and 30% pork backfat):

 

First one was chilled in freezer almost to freezing point, grinded in very cold grinder (I kept it in freezer for few hours), mixed thoroughly until development of stickiness. Temperature of this forcemeat didn't exceed 4-5C (40F) during all making process.

 

Second one was chilled a little bit in refrigerator to about +10C (50F), grinded in a warm grinder and mixed thoroughly until development of stickiness. Temperature of this forcemeat varied from +10C (50F) to about +25 (77F) during making process.

 

Third one was made as a second one, but was not mixed thoroughly. I mixed it just to distribute fats more ore less evenly and that's it.

 

Backfat was freezed before grinding in all cases.

 

All three samples were cooked (poached) until internal temperature reached 72C (160F). I weighted all samples before and right after cooking in order to determine weight losses.

 

The results were quite surprising:

 

First sample has lost 27,8% of it's initial weight.

Second sample has lost 30% of it's initial weight.

Third sample has lost 31,2% of it's initial weight.

 

Well, definetely there is a relation between chiling/mixing and loss of weight (final juiciness). But the difference between forcemeat that was made according to best practices and forcemeat that was made so-so is just 3,4%!

 

Honestly saying, I don't know how to interpret these results yet. Don't even know if these 3,4% make sense or just fall in standard error.

 

But it's fun. Probably, I will continue with tests like this. :)

post #16 of 21

Romanas, not being any sort of expert (I'm just a foodie) but I've never encountered a pate recipe calling for beef;  rather, just pork, chicken and veal in different proportions.

 

Best from a Polski,

-T
 

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-T

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-T

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post #17 of 21

I made an Elk Pate with Truffles the other day. I used my Kitchen-Aid mixer grinder attachment. I keep this in the freezer. 

After I tussle with it to attach it to the mixer, I have to wait 15 minutes for the blade and die to thaw or else the motor can not turn the blade.Useless.

Anyway my recipe made 3 small terrines. I served this one with French Cornichons, Pommeray mustard and Parmesan Crostinis.Photo06261923_1.jpg

post #18 of 21

Try chilling the blade, dies and worm by putting them in ice water instead of the freezer.  Works fast, works well, and doesn't require any warm-up after the cool down.

 

Ice rocks. Or does it cube?

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 6/29/12 at 10:41pm
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post #19 of 21

Freezing of the grinder only works well if it is a hunk of steel, like the standard Hobart or Hobart clone attachment.

 

I use the Kitchen Aid grinder a lot (mini pate en croute for high teas and the like) the (deleted) thing will crack if frozen or kept too hot (like a nice 15 min. sit in a commercial dishwasher....)

What I normally do is chill my meat and fat cold, and run it through the course die.  Spread the farce out on a tray into "snakes" or sausages, cling film, and freeze untill it just has a frozen crust.  You can jam a chunk of the semi-frozen "snake" down the meat grinder with very little fuss.   
 

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post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post

Freezing of the grinder only works well if it is a hunk of steel, like the standard Hobart or Hobart clone attachment.

 

I use the Kitchen Aid grinder a lot (mini pate en croute for high teas and the like) the (deleted) thing will crack if frozen or kept too hot (like a nice 15 min. sit in a commercial dishwasher....)

 

Worth repeating on cracking the KA grinder as that's exactly what killed mine in the end although it served me well for many years.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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post #21 of 21

JB weld and S/s hose clamps....................bounce.gif

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