from one generation to the next
Tastes and food aromas are strong stimulants to my memory. Warm and wonderful childhood memories bubble to the surface when I eat this potted steak, memories of crisp wintery mornings, bread skewered on a long handled fork toasting at the open firebox of the farmhouse combustion stove. The warm kitchen, the windows foggy with condensation, the thickly cut hot crispy toast topped with the chilled savoury potted steak. These memories are fifty plus years old, they flood back vividly, alongside warm and wonderful memories of the family with whom we were staying, dear family friends to this day. Auntie Marj is the source of many of our family favourite recipes, scones, preserves, cakes, slices, farm produce based, waste not want not recipes, formulas to use scrag ends and seasonal gluts, recipes that are the cornerstone of thrifty housekeeping. I think that “Potted Steak” is probably the distant Aussie cousin of French rillettes, leaner, less sophisticated, yet equally yummy.
500g beef shin
2 tablespoons homemade tomato relish or ketchup
1 tablespoon butter
Trim the steak of all fat and sinew, mix with the sauce and butter. Put the meat into a deep pudding basin or Pyrex bowl, then put the bowl into a large saucepan that has a tight fitting lid. Add water to the saucepan so it come 3/4 of the way up the outside of the basin/bowl, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer and steam for 3 hours.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the juices and shred the steak with 2 forks. Mix the meat back into the juices and chill.
The meat juices will be gelatinous because of the cut of meat, so the potted steak will set quite firmly. Serves as you would pâté or rillettes, with Melba toast and cornichons, or spread thickly on hot toast for breakfast.