In England, potting is an every-day affair for the cook. If there be ham, game, tongue, beef, or fish on the table one day, you are quite sure to see it potted on the next day at lunch or breakfast. It is a very good way of managing left-over food, instead of invariably making it into hashes, stews, etc. These potted meats will keep a long time. They are not good unless thoroughly pounded, reduced to the smoothest possible paste, and free from any unbroken fibre.
Mince some cold cooked ham, mixing lean and fat together; pound in a mortar, seasoning at the same time with a little Cayenne pepper, pounded mace, and mustard. Put into a dish, and place in the oven half an hour; afterward pack it in potting-pots or little stone jars, which cover with a layer of clarified butter (lukewarm), and tie bladders or paste paper over them. This is convenient for sandwiches. The butter may be used again for basting meat or for making meat-pies.
Ingredients: One pound and a half of boiled tongue, six ounces of butter, a little cayenne, a small spoonful of pounded mace, nutmeg and cloves each half a tea-spoonful.
The tongue must be unsmoked, boiled, and the skin taken off. Pound it in the mortar as fine as possible, with the spices. When perfectly pounded, and the spices are well blended with the meat, press it into small potting-pans; pour over the butter. A little roast veal, or the breasts of turkeys, chickens, etc., added to the tongue, are an improvement.
This is well-cooked beef chopped and pounded with a little butter, pepper, salt, and mace. Manage as for potted ham.
Potted Birds. Clean pigeons, or any other birds, and thoroughly season them with mace, allspice, pepper, and salt; then lay the breasts in a pan as close as possible, and put some butter over them; cover the pan with a coarse flour paste. Bake the birds well in the oven, and when cold cut them into small pieces; pound these to a paste in a mortar; pack them closely in a potting-pot, and cover with butter.
Cut out the pieces of fish; season with pepper, salt, and cloves, if you like; then put them into a dish; cover closely as for potted birds. Bake one hour. When cold, press them into the pot, and cover well with butter, etc.
Roast the chicken; take off all the meat, separating it from the sinews and skin; chop and pound thoroughly, with a pound of tongue or of ham. Let the bones of the chicken be boiled down to a glaze; moisten the pounded meat with this glaze; season with salt, Cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and a little butter. When well pounded and run through a sieve, put it into pots, and press it in hard. Now put the pots into a covered stew-pan, with some boiling water in the bottom; let them be steamed half an hour, then let them cool. Press the meat down again, wipe dry, and cover with some hot butter. It will keep for months.