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Potted Shrimp Recipe

“Potting” is traditionally a method of preserving meat or fish under a layer of fat, usually clarified butter. As a child, our host, Simon Majumdar, loved potted meat sandwiches. Now, he likes to make this simple yet elegant dish that would have been one of the most popular amongst the first class passengers on the R.M.S. Titanic.

This recipe makes 4 ramekins.


  • 2 Cups Tiny Shrimp (cooked)

  • 1 ½ Cups Clarified Butter (see recipe below) or Ghee

  • 1 Bunch Tarragon (finely chopped)

  • 1 Shallot (minced)

  • 1 Clove Garlic (crushed)

  • 1 Pinch Nutmeg

  • 1 Pinch Mace

  • 1 Pinch Salt

  • 1 Pinch White Pepper

  • 1 Lemon

  • Toast for serving

Potted Shrimp by Simon Majumdar


  1. Add the clarified butter (see recipe below or use ghee) to a sauce pan and bring to a gentle heat.

  2. Add the shallots and cook gently for ten minutes.

  3. Add the garlic and cook for two minutes.

  4. Add the shrimp and combine with the butter mixture.

  5. Add the tarragon, the mace, nutmeg, salt and pepper and combine gently.

  6. Pour the mixture evenly into the ramekins making sure the shrimp are entirely covered by butter.

  7. Chill for two hours.

  8. When ready to serve, warm the outside of the ramekins with your hand and invert onto a plate.

  9. Serve with toast and half a lemon.

To make your own clarified butter:

  1. Put three sticks of unsalted butter into a saucepan and warm on the gentlest heat.

  2. As they melt, the butter will release milk solids on the top of the surface. Remove these solids with a spoon.

  3. As soon as these solids are all gone, tip the pan gently and scoop out the liquid butter into a jug. There will be more milk solids at the bottom of the pan; make sure to leave these behind.

  4. Line a sieve with cheesecloth and pour the liquid butter through into another pan or a jar.

  5. This is clarified butter and will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for quite some time.

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