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“Now you are to observe that Force-Meat Balls are a great addition to all Made-Dishes,” wrote Hannah Glasse. Roll “them in little round Balls, and some in little long Balls . . . and fry them Brown.”

For a definition of forcemeat, see Forced Beef Tenderloin. For “made dishes,” see Rump of Beef to Stew. Forcemeat was used in a number of ways: baked in a crust; as a filling; or as a garnish for made dishes. It was also used as a stuffing, as in Veal Olives.

This recipe makes quite a bit of forcemeat, but if desired, it can be prepared ahead and frozen in one-cup portions for later use.


  • 2 pounds ground veal
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried savory
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • Lard or vegetable oil for frying
  • All-purpose flour for dredging
  • Parsley sprigs for serving


1. Combine the veal and pork well. Add the thyme, marjoram, savory, parsley, nutmeg, mace, lemon zest, salt, and pepper, and blend into the meat thoroughly. Add the eggs, and mix well.

2. Shape the forcemeat into small balls and cigar-shaped pieces by hand.

3. Melt the lard in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. (It should measure about 1 inch deep.) Dredge the forcemeat pieces in flour, and then cook in the hot lard, turning once or twice until well browned and cooked through. Drain well on paper towels.

4. Serve the forcemeat balls on a bed of parsley sprigs.

About 6 1/2 cups