- 120 g unsalted butter
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- a pinch of ground mace
- a good squeeze of lemon
- white pepper & a little sea salt
- 200 g brown shrimps
- a pinch of cayenne
Norfolk potted shrimps date back to the time that butter was clarified and used like Medieval cling film to preserve fresh food. It has fallen out of favour but twinned with sour dough is a truly delicious treat. You can also use this as a very special addition to all sorts of fish simply by melting the potted shrimps and pouring over the grilled fish before serving. Some also do this with cooked asparagus or even samphire. Both Samphire and Asparagus grow abundantly around Thornham and the rest of the coast.
You will find brown shrimps at local fishmongers on the Norfolk Coast like Gurneys in Thornham and they are now sometimes available from bigger supermarkets.
Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan. Very carefully pour the clear butter into another saucepan, leaving behind the milky solids. Alternatively you can pour through a sieve with muslin/kitchen towels or even jay clothes. Pour 2–3 tbsp. of the clarified butter into a warmed, small jug and set aside.
To the rest of the clarified butter add the bay, mace, cayenne and stir it around for a couple of minutes. Remove the bay and then add the shrimps with a squeeze of lemon, a pinch of white pepper and a smidgen of salt. Cook for a minute.
Scoop out the shrimps and then firmly press the shrimps into a ramekin. You want to make sure you have crammed the last possible shrimp in before you then pour back the reserved clarified butter over the shrimps until completely covered, then pop in the fridge until fully set which will be around a couple of hours.
See also Norfolk Taramasalata