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Oxford Brawn

Meats - Offal

A form of jellied brawn made from chopped mixed pork parts with sausage, spiced and 'collared' (pressed). Served with Oxford Brawn Sauce.

Known at least since advertisements in Oxford from 1786.

Building up an Oxford Brawn - W Heath Robinson
From an advertisement for 'International Stores' in the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette (19 June 1936)

Original Receipt from 'Warne's model cookery and housekeeping book', 1868

Oxford brawn is considered the best to purchase. The following recipes, especially the first, will be found excellent for family use.

Time, three nights: six hours to boil, three hours to get cold.

91. Pickled porker’s head; two tongues: two feet, and two extra ears: four fried sausages; some slices of boiled ox tongue; dried sage, pepper and salt, one teaspoonful of each for seasoning: three tablespoonfuls of salt to cover the head.

Cut the porker’s head in half, and soak one night: cover it with salt for one night, boil slowly six hours. Let it get cold. Take out the bones. Boil the two tongues, feet, and ears one hour and a half: remove the bones and gristle. Cut all the meat into small pieces: season with sage, pepper, and salt, well mixed. Cut the sausages into slices. Place slices of ox tongue, which should be of a nice red colour, in a pattern round the mould or tin: put in the meat, and press it firmly down with a weight on the top. Let it stand one night. The tongues may be put in whole, if preferred, about the middle of the mould.

Image: Unknown

Oxford Journal - Saturday 6 January 1787

During WWI Sainsbury's were advertising Oxford brawn at a, very cheap, 1s 8d lb, yet it was grand enough to be included as a luncheon dish on the SS Canberra in 1967. In 'Westward Ho!', by Charles Kingsley (1855); "Jack was in person exceedingly like a pig ... which look as if they had passed their lives, as a collar of Oxford brawn is said to do, between two tight boards."

Although Oxford Brawn is now rare in England, it appers to have a continuuing popularity in South Africa...

'Eskort' brand Oxford Brawn, South Aftica, 2016

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