This section is from the book "Home Cookery", by H. Howson. Also available from Amazon: Home Cookery.
" In England potting is an every-day affair for the cook. If there be ham, game, tongue, beef, or fish on the table one day, you are quite sure to see it potted on the next day at lunch or breakfast. It is a very good way of managing left over food, instead of invariably making it into hashes, stews, etc. These potted meats will keep a long time. They are not good unless thoroughly pounded, reduced to the smoothest possible paste, and free from any unbroken fibre".
Roast the chicken, take off all the meat, separating it from the sinews, and skin, chop and pound thoroughly with a pound of tongue or ham. Let the bones of the chicken be boiled down to a glaze, moisten the pounded meat with this glaze, season with salt, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and a piece of butter. When well pounded in a mortar to a paste, put it into pots, with some boiling water in the bottom ; let them be steamed half an hour and then let them cool. Press the meat down again, wipe dry and cover with some hot butter. It will keep for months.
Mince some cold cooked ham, mixing lean and fat together; pound in a mortar, seasoning at the same time with cayenne pepper, and powdered mace, and mustard. Put into a dish and place in the oven; half an hour afterwards pack it in small stone jars, and cover with a layer of clarified butter, luke-warm, and tie bladders or paste paper over them. Leftover meat may be potted in the same way; chop the meat well cooked, and pound with butter, salt, pepper, and mace; prepare as for potted ham.
Scale them and take off the heads and tails, and with the head and gills draw out carefully a string that runs through the body, letting the roe remain ; wipe them dry and pack them in a stone pot, and between every layer of fish strew a mixture of salt, black pepper, ground allspice and cloves, adding some whole pepper and allspice. Cover them with vinegar, and lay a plate on top of the fish to keep them down. Cover the pot with dough and put in the oven, when the oven is cooling after a bread baking. Let them remain until the oven is cold. If a second plate is put on top, it prevents the dough falling.
Put the lobster in boiling water, and let it boil for half an hour; then pick all the meat from the body and claws, and beat it in a mortar; add nutmeg, mace, cayenne and salt to the taste; beat the coral separately; then put the pounded meat into a large potting-can, with a cover; press it down hard, having arranged it in alternate layers of white meat and coral, to give it a marbled appearance; cover it with fresh butter and put it in a slow oven for half-hour. When cold, take off the butter and clarify it by putting it into a jar, which must be set in a pan of boiling water; put the lobster into small potting-cans, pressing it down very hard; pour the clarified butter over it, and secure the covers tightly. Potted lobster is used to lay between thin slices of bread as sandwiches.
One pound of boiled tongue, six ounces of butter, some cayenne, small spoonful of mace, nutmeg and cloves, each half a teaspoonful; the tongue must be unsmoked, boiled and skinned ; pound it in a mortar as fine as possible, with the spices; when well blended, press the meat into small potting-pans, pour over it clarified butter, luke-warm, and tie bladders, or paste paper over them. A small quantity of roast veal, or the breast of turkey or chicken added is an improvement.