According to my Larousse Gastronomique, I should be using two parts meat to one part panade (breadcrumbs, or similar filler), with one egg per 500g and a third of a cup of brandy.
My first attempt was a filling for “coroni” – my version of tortellini (my circle cutter broke so I made squares; the wrapped version looked a bit like crowns, hence my name for them). This forcemeat was made with 50% pork fillet, 50% topside beef, a couple of rashers of bacon, egg, plain flour and buckwheat flour. This mix was seasoned with nutmeg. Whilst I enjoyed these, my wife said that she preferred the meatballs that I had made the day before. These meatballs were actuall a disaster recovery exercise on some ravioli that had gone horribly wrong – the panade being egg pasta.
This time round, I have approximately 500g of leg pork, 500g topside beef and 100g of bacon. I will cut this up today and freeze half. As for panade, I baked a loaf of ordinary white bread yesterday, put it through the food processor and left the resultant crumbs in a low oven until they felt dry. No way would I use shop breadcrumbs – I’ve seen the ingredients list. So, today, I will make up the first batch, following the Larousse suggestion. I haven’t yet worked out whether the meat/panade ratio is by weight or volume, so I will get the egg in first, then add panade until it feels right.
Report to follow.