Saturday, November 15, 2014

Scottish recipes - Potted Hough

Potted Hough

Scottish potted hough or potted meat

Oh my goodness

Potted hough

Potted what? you say

Well to put it simply it's potted meat

Hough us actually the meat and bone from the shin or leg of a cow, boiled in water until it reduces and becomes tender, with oodles of black pepper added, then it's left to cool to make a potted meat and jelly which is served cold


It is usually served over Christmas and New year in Scotland

Hough is a food that I remember fondly from my childhood like so many of the recipes on here

My gran used to make it, she was the queen of making hough but she didn't think so, she though her mother was the expert. Then my own mum took over the hough making role and she always felt my gran made it better.... Now it's my turn to make it here in Texas - with my mum only a phone call away if I have questions (Hi mum )

I remember going into my Gran's kitchen at new year and seeing all the different bowls and containers and dishes with the potted meat sitting cooling and setting, it was a sight to see

It would be spread cold on toast or oat cakes or crackers - with even more pepper added on top if you liked it that way

The first hurdle here in Texas was to find a beef hock or shin or leg meat, most supermarkets have done away with proper butcher counters so I needed a market or a store with a butcher present

I found Beef shank steaks with the bone in at one of my local supermarkets here in Texas. HEB had them, I was excited !

Beef shank

I took them home and immediately called my mum to show her

So here is what I did to make the Potted Hough

You will need

2-3lbs of Beef Shank with the bone (or just ask your butcher for a hough bone if you live in Scotland)
Pepper (oodles and oodles of pepper)

  • First remove the meat from the bone and cut into cubes or chunks
beef shank

  • Place meat, bones and tons of pepper into a large pot and cover with water (you can never add too much pepper - the pepperier the better)  
beef shank and bones

beef and bones

  • Bring to boil and keep simmering for 3 hours 

  • Keep an eye on the meat and water mixture, keep topping up with boiled water as needed, making sure you keep the meat and bones covered with water

  • Once the meat is tender and soft, check the liquid mixture to see if it will set. (It will set and turn to jelly later if the mixture is a little sticky when manipulated between you thumb and fore finger)

  • Once ready, break up the meat with a fork, while still on the liquid, pour into containers or ramekins 
potted meat
potted hough

potted hough

  • Place in the fridge to chill and set for around 2 hours


Serve by spreading cold on oatcakes, crackers or warm toast

Potted hough cannot be placed in the freezer for later, so you and your guests will need to eat the whole batch, it will keep fresh in the fridge for around 5 days

Potted Hough

Scottish potted hough

For me, this truly is a childhood dish filled with great memories of great people

The taste and texture just takes me back to Scotland and New Year like many things on this blog

So get organised and make this for Christmas or New Year this year and make great memories or keep a great tradition alive

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