What was "potted meat" before the invention of canning?

A story I’m reading set in the Napoleonic era mentions it. Would it have been salted or pickled meat in a jar?

It was probably canned meat, the Napoleonic era was the inception of modern canning or “tinning” technology.

Or, it might have been essentially confit meat. essentially meat preserved in potted crockery with fat and a fat seal, not unlike conserving fruit preserves with wax.

“What is home without Plumtree’s potted meat? Incomplete.”

Wiki’s article on confit was enlightening. This is probably it. Thanks!

Not so much a jar, or even a tin, but I seem to remember some such foods then were sealed in small glazed white china pots with close-fitting ( with wire fasteners even ) lids of the same material. Rather like pomatum jars ( 19th century hair grease ) that can be seen in antique shops sometimes, only bigger. China about quarter of an inch in thickness.
Even more vaguely I think Napoleon had potted meats in his carriage; then again, he travelled about with the most ornate ceremonial service evah that only the profoundly insecure would relish, so he probably had a small cellar full of wine under the floorboards.

“Potted meat” brings to mind something more like rillettes than confit. Confit is typically still on the bone, whereas rillettes are more of a smooth paste. You can make rillettes out of confit by pulling the meat off the bone and blending with some fat, and it can be preserved under a layer of fat.

Interestingly enough, not an hour ago I pulled some goose confit out of the sous-vider. Not a traditional method of cooking it, but it beats the hell out of somehow coming up with a gallon or so of goose fat to poach it in. I’m looking forward to it for dinner tomorrow.

Well, even in modern canning there are different degrees of confit fat in preservation and texture.Oil packed tuna and salmon, corned beef, haggis, and goose livers are but some examples. The canning is almost superfluous as to the the Ghost of taste that potted meats invoke.

Ok, I’m going to go out on a limb here and respond to the OP with Pate’. Potted meat was Pate’ before the invention of canning.

Here’s all you need to know about potted meat.

I was thinking more of the bones in confit. I dunno, “potted meat” to me makes me think of something without bones, but it’s hardly like I’m an expert in canned, mushy meats :slight_smile:

What do you mean by “Ghost of taste”?