IngredientsMeat15 French Meat Products on Every Family’s Grocery List

15 French Meat Products on Every Family’s Grocery List

Meat in France is often processed and used to create some delicious French meat products sold around the world. From the iconic charcuterie platters of cured ham and sausages to the little jars of Pâté, French meat products are both delicious and diverse. 

Do you know the best French meat products available? Have you tested the unique flavors, textures, and cooking methods that make France’s meat products melt-in-your-mouth good?

Whether you’re a seasoned gourmet or a newcomer to French cuisine, this guide to the best French meat products will provide you with a comprehensive overview. Let’s chat about French meat, and discover the delicious offerings that await.

Here are the most popular French meat products enjoyed in France and beyond.

French meats fresh from the farmer's market on the wood kitchen prep table

French Charcuterie

Charcuterie is a type of meat product made from pork, although other meats such as beef, poultry, and game can also be used. The term charcuterie is used to describe a variety of processed meat products, such as ham, bacon, and sausages. Charcuterie is a staple of French cuisine and is often served as a part of a larger meal or as a standalone snack.

The traditional methods of charcuterie involve preserving meat through salting, smoking, and drying, which help to extend its shelf life and enhance its flavor. Charcuterie products are typically made from the parts of the pig that are not used for fresh meat.

Here are some popular French charcuterie meats: 

  • Ham is a type of charcuterie meat made from the hind leg of a pig or boar and is often cured, smoked, or both.
  • Sausages are charcuterie meat made by grinding or chopping meat and mixing it with spices, seasonings, and other ingredients.
  • Boudin is a famous charcuterie sausage made from pork meat and liver, mixed with breadcrumbs, onions, and spices.
  • Saucisson is a beloved charcuterie sausage made from ground pork meat and usually dried, smoked, or both.
  • Saucisson sec is a favorite charcuterie sausage similar to saucisson, but it is dry-cured and has a firmer texture.
  • Lyon saucisson is a regional specialty sausage originating in Lyon, France. It is made from coarsely ground pork meat and is usually flavored with garlic and other seasonings.

French Forcemeats

Forcemeats are a type of charcuterie meat that is made by combining finely ground meat with other ingredients such as fat, herbs, spices, and seasonings. The mixture is then molded or shaped into form. Forcemeats are a big part of French eating habits, and they are often served as a first course or appetizer. They can be enjoyed either hot or cold and are typically served with bread or crackers.

  • Pâté is a famous French forcemeat that combines finely ground meat, such as liver or pork, with fat, seasonings, and other ingredients. Pâté is typically molded into a smooth, spreadable texture.
  • Terrine is a French forcemeat similar to pâté, but it is usually coarse in texture and is often made with larger pieces of meat.
  • Rillettes is a forcemeat made by slow-cooking meat, such as pork or goose, until it is tender and then shredding it and mixing it with fat.
  • Galantine is a type of forcemeat made from poultry meat, such as chicken or duck, that is boned and stuffed with a forcemeat mixture. The stuffed meat is then poached, chilled, and served cold.
  • Ballottines are a type of forcemeat that is made from boned poultry meat that is stuffed with a forcemeat mixture and then tied into a compact shape.

French Prepared Meats

Prepared meats are meats that have been processed, cooked, or otherwise prepared for consumption. The goal of preparing meats is to enhance the flavor, texture, and overall enjoyment of the meat.

Prepared meats can be consumed on their own as a main dish or as part of a larger meal, such as a sandwich or salad. Prepared meats are typically sold in grocery stores or specialty food shops.

Here are some popular French prepared meats: 

  • Cochonailles is a type of prepared meat made from pork and is often seasoned with herbs and spices. It is a popular ingredient in dishes such as stews and casseroles and is known for its rich, meaty flavor.
  • Tripes are a type of prepared meat made from the stomach lining of cows or pigs. They are a traditional ingredient in French cuisine and are often simmered in a flavorful broth to create a hearty and filling dish.
  • Crépinettes are small patties of ground meat, such as pork or beef, that are seasoned with herbs and spices and then wrapped in caul fat. They are often grilled or pan-fried and are enjoyed as a flavorful, easy-to-prepare meal.
  • Lardon is a type of prepared meat made from small pieces of bacon or pork belly. It is a common ingredient in dishes such as salads, quiches, and omelets, and is known for its salty, smoky flavor.
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