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How to Make Forcemeats

How to Make Forcemeats

Each type of forcemeat results in a different texture once cooked. Let to right, top to bottom: straight fourcemeat, country-style forcemeat, gratin fourcemeat, mousseline fourcemeat (photo, CIA)

Culinary Institute of America

Testing a forcemeat

Forcemeats are poached directly in a liquid (as for galantines, roulades, or quenelles) or in a water bath (terrines), or baked in a crust (pâté en croûte). You can only be sure of the quality of the forcemeat after it is cooked, and the method below for testing a forcemeat will give you an opportunity to evaluate the quality, seasoning, and texture.

The test portion itself will not taste or feel exactly the same as the finished product, since it is a general practice to allow the forcemeat items to rest two or three days before they are served. However, with experience, you can train your palate to recognize the evidence of quality or to detect a flaw in a forcemeat. This is the same taste memory, built up through experience and practice, that permits a cellar master to foretell with some accuracy the qualities a wine will have when it is mature, even when the wine is actually far too young to drink.

If the texture is poor, evaluate just what kind of problem you have. Rubbery forcemeat can be improved by adding more fat and cream. Loose forcemeat, on the other hand, may be improved by adding egg whites or a bit of panada. However, take into account whether or not the item will be pressed or coated with aspic before you make a dramatic change.