I still have some leftover turkey so I decided to be brave and try making Potted Meat, Beef, Veal, Chicken, or Venison. The recipe comes from Mrs. T. Peck in the Meat section of the 1898 New Galt Cook Book.
I’m a bit worried about making this recipe since I don’t have a sausage grinder but I’m hoping that finely chopping the meat will still work. I took some cold cooked turkey breast and chopped it very fine. I had about 3 tablespoons once it was all chopped. It went into a small bowl along with about 1/4 teaspoon of soft butter. I sprinkled some salt and pepper in and then tried to estimate how much ground cloves and mace I needed. They are both very powerful spices and I tend to use too much. I decided to start with a pinch of each. I started mixing everything and discovered that the meat became paste like. I really didn’t need a sausage machine after all. I added a touch more butter and then tasted to see if I needed any more seasoning. I added just a tiny bit more cloves and salt and then set it aside to taste with a clear palate.
Mrs. T. Peck is probably Sarah Freeman Gissing. She was born 180 years ago on October 20, 1834 in Mendlesham Suffolk England. Her parents Sarah and Henry had seven more children after her and her father was a farmer. In 1855 twenty year old Sarah married thirty-three year old Thomas Peck in the same community most likely at this church. Thomas is listed as a malster once they arrive in Galt. They must have left for Canada not long after their marriage since their first child was born in 1856 in Galt Ontario. They have three more children born in 1865, ’70 and ’73. Thomas dies in 1886 leaving Sarah a widow with all four young adult children at home. The five of them continue to live together for many years with son Thomas employed as a customs collector. In 1911 they all live on Lansdown Avenue in Galt. Sarah died of pneumonia in 1917 when she was about 83. I think she and her son were living at 2 Brant Road South in Galt at the time. The neighbouring houses at 1 and 3 are visible on Google but I can’t see the Peck house.
I’m not sure what to do with potted meat but this has an interesting flavour. I expected to find this disgusting to look at and even worse to taste. Instead it looked like dough and tasted quite good. I think it would make a good sandwich spread and a modern cook could try other spicing.
POTTED MEAT, BEEF, VEAL, CHICKEN, OR VENISON
Mrs. T. Peck
Cold meat, butter, pepper, ground mace, salt, ground cloves. Cut the meat into small pieces and put it through a sausage machine. Then add butter, pepper, a little ground mace, salt and ground cloves according to taste. Squeeze this all well through your hands, so as to thoroughly mix the ingredients, then pack tightly into moulds. Butter sufficient to make it moist.