Potted Ham

An excellent Receipt


  • Lean of ham, 1 lb.
  • Lean of roast veal, 6 oz.
  • fresh butter, 8 oz.
  • mace, from 1 to 2 teaspoonsful
  • ½ large nutmeg
  • cayenne, ¼ to ½ teaspoonful.


To be eaten in perfection this should be made with a freshly cured ham, which, after having been soaked for twelve hours, should be wiped dry, nicely trimmed, closely wrapped in coarse paste, and baked very tender.* When it comes from the oven, remove the crust and rind, and when the ham is perfectly cold, take for each pound of the lean, which should be weighed after every morsel of skin and fibre has been carefully removed, six ounces of cold roast veal, prepared with equal nicety. Mince these quite fine with an exceedingly sharp knife, taking care to cut through the meat, and not to tear the fibre, as on this much of the excellence of the preparation depends. Next put it into a large stone or marble mortar, and pound it to the smoothest paste with eight ounces of fresh butter, which must be added by degrees. When three parts beaten, strew over it a teaspoonful of freshly-pounded mace, half a large, or the whole of a small nutmeg grated, and the third of a teaspoonful of cayenne well mixed together. It is better to limit the spice to this quantity in the first instance, and to increase afterwards either of the three kinds to the taste of the parties to whom the meat is to he served. We do not find half a teaspoonful of cayenne, and nearly two teaspoonful of mace, more than is generally approved. After the spice is added, keep the meat often turned from the sides to the middle of the mortar, that it may be seasoned equally in every part. When perfectly pounded, press it into small potting-pans, and pour clarified butter* over the top. If kept in a cool and, dry place, this meat will remain good for a fort-night, or more.

Obs.—The roast veal is ordered in this receipt because the ham alone is generally too salt; for the same reason butter, fresh taken from the churn, or that which is but slightly salted and quite new, should be used for it in preference to its own fat. When there is no ready-dressed veal in the house, the best part of the neck, roasted or stewed, will supply the requisite quantity. The remains of a cold boiled ham will answer quite well for potting, even when a little dry.

Spice, it must be observed, varies so very greatly in its quality that discretion is always necessary in using it.

* This should never be poured hot on the meat: it should be less than milk warm when added to it.