Potted Shrimp

As it’s National Fishing Week, today’s recipe is a real British fish classic. We’ve shared our fish pie recipe with you before, and this is next on our hit list of must-try dishes from Blighty’s seas. And it has some impressive support. None other than James Bond is a big fan of today’s recipe: potted shrimp.

Let’s start with some explanation. Potted is simple: the shrimps are served in a small pot, such as a ramekin. But shrimp is trickier as in Britain we refer to the bigger crustaceans (such as those served in A Salt & Battery) as prawns. Shrimp are their smaller cousins, morsels about the size of a cent coin that have a unique sweetness. Combined with spices and served with a ‘lid’ of clarified butter (traditionally to preserve) and a couple of slices of toast this makes a very low effort, yet refined, dinner party appetizer; or a supper for one. Here’s how:

Shaken, not stirred… and with a side of potted shrimp.

Perfect Potted Shrimp

From The Guardian

Serves 4

200g unsalted butter
Juice of ¼ lemon
¼ tsp ground mace
¼ tsp white pepper
½ tsp anchovy paste or Gentleman’s Relish
200g cooked and peeled brown shrimps
Cayenne pepper, to serve

  • Melt the butter in a pan over a gentle heat, and then allow to simmer until you spot the first dark flecks – watch it carefully, or it will burn. Strain through some butter muslin, or two sheets of kitchen roll, into a jug.
  • Wipe out the pan, and pour in two-thirds of the butter. Add the lemon juice, mace, pepper, anchovy essence and a pinch of salt and simmer very gently for five minutes, then take off the heat and allow to cool but not set. Divide the shrimps between 4 ramekins, pressing them in tightly.
  • When just warm, but still liquid, divide the spiced butter between the ramekins and put in the fridge to set. Once solid, pour over the remainder of the clarified butter and return to the fridge to set.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and a lot of hot toast.
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