Potted Shrimp

British Bites

Classic british dishes updated for the modern American cook.

Potted Shrimp
  • Yield:Serves 4
  • Active time:45 minutes (including clarifying the butter)
  • Total time:1 hour 15 minutes
This recipe appears in:
British Bites: Potted Shrimp

[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

The idea of shoving lovely, tender shrimp into a little pot may seem a bit backwards to some, but once you've tasted the gently seasoned butter and lovely tender shrimp you'll understand why this classic British dish is coming back into style.


  • 1 pound butter, clarified
  • 1 medium shallot, finley chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • Dash fresh grated nutmeg
  • Dash cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon Gentlemen’s Relish or 1 anchovy filet
  • 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 pound small shrimp (31-40 per pound), shelled and coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed


  1. 1.

    Heat 1/2 cup of clarified butter and shallots in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until shallots begin to become translucent, about 5 minutes.

  2. 2.

    Add nutmeg, cayenne, gentlemen’s relish or anchovy filet, and lemon juice and continue to cook while stirring for 1 minute. Add chopped shrimp and cook, stirring often, until shrimp are pink and just cooked in the center, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  3. 3.

    Using a slotted spoon, divide shrimp between ramekins, then divide remaining liquid on top of shrimp, pressing down so that the shrimp are as submerged as possible. Divide remaining clarified butter between ramekins, making sure no shrimp break the surface. Scatter thyme leaves over the clarified butter layer.

  4. 4.

    Set potted shrimp in the fridge until butter has set, at least 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. Serve with toast.

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