Potted meat is a method for preserving meat. The meat is cooked, placed hot in a pot, tightly packed to exclude air, and then covered with hot fat. As the fat cools it hardens and forms an airtight seal preventing spoilage by airborne bacteria. Before the days of refrigeration, potted meat was developed as a way to preserve meat when a freshly-slaughtered animal could not be fully eaten immediately.
Often when making potted meat, only the meat of one animal was used, although other recipes, such as the Flemish potjevleesch, used three or four different meats.