My father-in-law’s heirloom brawn recipe

I don’t like brawn nor does Lee, but Dad’s brawn is DELICIOUS 😋 In fact, it is the only brawn we will eat. It looks more like pâté because I don’t use a lot of gelatine.

My father-in-law, Bertram (Bert) David John Millin is the only son of Bertram Uri John Millin and Mary Stuart (Molly). Bert used for this recipe either trotters from his own pigs 🐖 and chicken 🐓 or from their neighbour pigs (Potgieter family) at Mbona Estate in KwaZulu-Natal.

Utensils 🍴apron, cutting board, kitchen knife, large saucepan, cup, table spoon, teaspoon, ramequins or pate terrine

Ingredients for 6 people 1 sliced onion, 1 unsalted pork shank or 2 unsalted pork trotters, 1 chicken, 1 T mixed herbs, 8 cups of water, salt & pepper to taste, 2 t nutmeg, 1 small packet of gelatine, oil


  1. Cut onion into slices
  2. Put into a large saucepan with all the meat, half of the herbs and water
  3. Boil it for approx. 5 hours, topping with water if necessary
  4. ½ Hour before, take out all bones and sinews (the meat should by now look stringing, if not pull apart until it does)
  5. Add rest of herbs, salt & pepper to taste, nutmeg and the gelatine. Mix it well. The cooking is done.
  6. Pour into well-oiled ramequins and set overnight

It is at this stage that Dad added a ton of love

TIP The flavour is best at room temperature. In case you need to put it in the fridge, take it out 10 minutes before.

It also freezes very well.

Serve with radish and lettuce or on lovely homemade buttered bread

Delicious 🥂 with a fruity white wine

Music 🎶 My best friend by Don Williams. When Lee closes her eyes she can still hear her Dad singing this song. Bert passed away on 23 February 1988. 18 Years later we married on this day.

Romance of this recipe: A couple of hours later when Dad had finished making his brawn it was all eaten.

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