Potted Meats is a generic term used to mean meat that is canned, or meat or pieces of meat preserved in a savoury jelly.The term broadly includes items such as Brawn, Spam, tinned or jarred meat spreads, baby food, devilled ham, canned chicken spread, confits, rillettes, and beef paste.
It also includes canned meats, anything from buffalo to rattlesnake, corned beef in a tin, or ham in a tin, though some would argue that anything tinned can’t be called “potted.”
Potted Meats can be used sliced in sandwiches, or as pâtés.
Historically, potting meat was a way to preserve meat before there was refrigeration. Meat was cooked, cut into small pieces, and a layer of it put into a crock. The layer was then covered with a thick layer of melted fat. The layers were repeated until the crock was filled, then topped with a very thick layer of fat. The fat acted as a barrier to air and bacteria, just as putting wax on top of jams did.