Potted Hough

by Brian Macfarlane

Go to your Butcher and ask for a Fore Nap and 3lb of Hough. (You might need to order it) Then cover the bone with water boil it for as long as poss (I do mine for three hours in a pressure cooker) and Slicing the meat into half inch slices and cook it for an hour in some water in a pressure cooker.
This is the messy bit, when the ingredients are cooled enough to handle, clean everything off the bone onto a board and give the bone to the dog if you have one (but don't use the marrow or you'll turn your Potted meat into the best laxative known to man) Then using a fork or similar crush it all down til its mush. If theres bits that wont crush down then remove and bin it. (The mush is needed to set the mixture to jelly.) Then take the meat and do similar ('til its all separated strands of meat) put all the prepared ingredients and liquid from the boilings into a big pan and mix it all together adding Salt and pepper to taste. (I add enough salt so you taste it fairly well. When it sets its not so noticeable but as I said too taste, but it DOES need some salt.)
Water and the amount of liquid is critical and is where experience comes in. To start with probably two pints of liquid till you see how well it sets. When its all together in the big pot bring it to the boil and stir well again to separate the meat strands as well as you can. I keep chinese take away trays and I put 3 ladles full of the mixture into each and got 12 trays which will give you an idea of whether you have the liquid amount right. Let the trays cool on the worktop (Away from the aforementioned dog) Then into the fridge with lids on, to complete the setting.
If it doesn't set don't despair put it all back into the pot heat and add some Gelatine. Its mostly trial and error but when you get the hang of it theres nothing better on cooled buttered toast or on a Roll. My mum likes it with potatoes. You can freeze it too. We adore it, this recipe is over a hundred years old as its from my Grandmother to my mother to me, she was born in 1884.

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