Potted Meat

A myriad of on-the-shelf sandwich fillers have overtaken once-fashionable potted meat, but this version is all the better for being home-made.

Serves: 8–10

Preparation: 1 hour + cooking time 5 hours


  • 450g lean Stewing Beef
  • 1 tsp coarsely crushed black Peppercorns
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 Allspice berry
  • ½ Bay leaf
  • A good grating of Nutmeg or a pinch of ground mace
  • 2 tsp Anchovy paste or a small tin Anchovy fillets, drained
  • 60g Butter, plus 25–40g for sealing
  • a little chopped fresh Parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C/Gas Mark 1.
  2. Wash and dry the beef and cut into small pieces, removing any fat and sinew.
  3. Put into a greased ovenproof dish with a tight-fitting lid.
  4. Add the seasoning, all the spices and herbs and the anchovy paste or fillets and dot with the butter. Cover with the lid.
  5. Cook for 5 hours, stirring half way through the cooking time.
  6. Either spoon the contents into a food processor, removing the bay leaf, and blend until smooth or, for a coarse texture, chop well with a knife and fork.
  7. Divide between ramekin dishes or spoon into one large dish.
  8. Melt the extra butter (you will need the larger amount for the ramekins), combine with the parsley and spoon over the surface.


Sealing with butter allows you to keep the potted meat for up to a week in the fridge.

Variation -For added flavour, try adding a little garlic, chopped fresh rosemary, some of your favourite fresh herbs, or even a splash of sherry.