This recipe needs advance preparation!
Head cheese, Potted hough or brawn is not a cheese at all but a Scottish prepared meat dish and is a great recipe for shin of beef. I have taken it verbatim from the wonderful, wonderful book; Food in England - Dorothy Hartley which is now available again as it has been reprinted and re-issued. Recommended.
Twa-three slices o' potted hough per person!
- Take the hough and bash it well with an axe.
- No' just beark it, but have at it , 'till the pieces are no bigger than a wee hen's egg.
- Pack it into an iron pot with the papery brown skins of onions, two or three peppercorns and a blade of mace. just cover with water, set on the lid lightly, and let it stew for four hours at least.
- When the meat is away from the bone, tilt it all into a colander, strain the liquid back into the saucepan, and let it gallop while you are gathering up the meat from the broken bones.
- Press the meat into a basin with straight sides, and when the meat is all in, fill up with the liquid and set aside 'til cold.
- It should set stiff. If it no' sets stiff, you must reduce again for it should be stiff as glue.
Scotch woman's tip
Do not add vegetables, or over-season with herbs, when cooking this dish, as
it is not a 'made' dish, in the usual sense: it is most essentially a plain
dish of solid meat. It turns out a brawn, but the texture is much more firm.
The Scotch woman who gave me the recipe said "All o' mie want no more than
twa-three slices o' potted hough, and a well of baked taties, and a fresh
lettuce and mustard-maybe twa-three pickles would go wi' it well-and a tankard
of ale-'twill fill them fine-'tis all guid meat", and as she was a mother of
four champion blacksmiths she knew what she was strengthening.
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