Potted meat is a preserved meat, where 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 some spoilage by airborne bacteria. Spores of Clostridium botulinum can survive cooking at 100°C (212°F), and, in the anerobic neutral pH storage environment, result in Botulism. 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 (animals).