Midsummer feasts: potted shrimp


Photograph: Jason Lowe

Photograph: Jason Lowe

In his penultimate recipe for open-air feasts, our Head Chef Stewart Turner dishes up the ultimate potted shrimp; an exceptionally English dish with a sumptuous mix of savoury and sweet, and perfect for picnics.

Potted shrimp is a quintessentially British dish and the perfect reminder that we have our own fantastic summertime dishes, without the default nod to Mediterranean cuisine. This is perfect when paired with another great English seasonal product – asparagus, which is a must for any early summer picnic.

Potted shrimp with English asparagusServes 4
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs lemon thyme
  • ¼tsp ground mace
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper
  • ½tsp anchovy paste or Gentleman’s Relish
  • 200g cooked and peeled brown shrimp
  • 2tbsp chopped chives
  • 1tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 200g English asparagus
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt the butter in a pan over a gentle heat with the garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for five minutes.

Strain the butter, add the lemon juice, mace, one pinch of cayenne pepper and the anchovy essence. Season to taste  and warm again to incorporate the flavours.

In a bowl mix the shrimp with the herbs and then pour in the flavoured butter. Mix well, place in a shallow container and put in the fridge to set.

Blanch the asparagus (cook for about three minutes in plenty of salted boiling water then refresh in cold water to stop the cooking). Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, then place on a serving platter.

Break up the potted shrimp with a fork. Scatter over and around the asparagus and finish with a pinch of cayenne pepper. Serve with Melba toast or some crusty bread.

Explore our range of wines and spirits for Summer 2015 on bbr.com.