Morecambe bay potted shrimps are a real treat,that you can easily make at home.
The Morecombe bay shrimps are delicately spiced with mace and cayenne pepper to make a tasty shrimp pâté that you can't resist.
Enjoy it as a snack, lunch, Sunday tea, or as an elegant entertaining starter for friends and family.
Delicious on toast, crusty bread or crackers, this is an easy spread that anyone can make.
Tiny brown shrimps are found all around the British isles and are particularly famous in Morecambe Bay, where they have been served potted in spiced butter since about 1800.
brown shrimps are wild and have a much more intense flavour than many prawns.
They are sweet, salty and delicious in sauces, soups, starters and pasta dishes.
Luckily, they are now widely available in supermarkets, fishmongers and online.
There are so many uses for these tiny brown shrimps, but the traditional method, of preserving them in a spiced butter, then topping with clarified butter, is my favourite.
This is a really quick recipe, which has very little preparation and just minutes of cooking time, so anyone can make it as a last minute dish.
Perfect for lazy Sunday suppers, elegant starters or a tasty snack, this shrimp spread also travels well, so it's perfect for picnics.
❤️ Why you will love this recipe
- Traditional British recipe.
- Simple to make.
- Great for many occasions.
- Perfect Father's Day gift.
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- Shrimps - brown shrimps, also known as Morecambe Bay shrimps. Typically, these are for sale already peeled and cooked.
- Butter - salted or unsalted, just use less salt if you are using salted butter.
- Dill - fresh or dried dill.
- Salt - flaked sea salt.
- Pepper - freshly ground black pepper.
- Cayenne pepper - this adds a mild warmth.
- Mace - mace is part of the lacy casing around nutmeg and has a similar flavour with a little heat. It's a traditional spice used in potted shrimps.
The recipe card with ingredient quantities and detailed instructions can be found at the bottom of the post.
- 2 ramekins or 4 small bowls for serving - optional
- small saucepan
- glass jug
- sharp knife
- chopping board
- kitchen paper
Tip the shrimps onto kitchen paper in a single layer to absorb any excess moisture.
Chop half of the shrimps.
Melt half of the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat.
Use a spoon to skim off any foam and discard.
Add the shrimps, seasoning, dried dill and spices.
Cook over a low heat for two minutes without boiling.
This allows the shrimp to absorb all of the buttery flavours.
Divide the mixture between 2 ramekins or 4 smaller pots and push the shrimps under the butter.
Leave to cool.
Place in the refrigerator to set while you make the clarified butter.
How to make clarified butter
It's really easy to clarify butter, which is essentially butter with the water and milk solids removed.
In the past clarified butter was added to terrines, potted meats, cheeses and pâté as a seal to preserve it. When the butter is clarified it will last for up to 3 months in the refrigerator.
Clarified butter, also known as ghee, has a high smoking point which means that you can use it like you would do a vegetable oil. Think of really crispy and buttery roast potatoes, creamy curries and delicious fried onions!
- Put the butter in a small saucepan and heat gently until it melts.
- Use a spoon to skim off any foam or bits that rise to the surface and discard.
- Next pour the liquid butter into another container, being careful not to let any of the sediment at the bottom to go with it. I prefer to use a separating jug for this.
- The clarified butter is now ready to use.
Pour the clarified butter over the potted prawns.
Add a sprig of fresh dill to the butter as it sets.
Leave in the fridge until required.
When you are ready to serve, remove the Morecambe Bay potted shrimps from the fridge 30 minutes before serving.
🥗 Serve with
- crusty bread
- melba toast
Or, try some of these ideas for bread.
- Coronation Chicken Sandwich
- Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich
- Crab Pâté
- Smoked Salmon Pâté
- Afternoon Tea Sandwiches
- Mace - if you can't find mace, use a few grates of nutmeg or allspice powder.
- Morecambe Bay shrimps - if you can't find brown shrimps use small prawns.
- Refrigerator - the butter acts as a preservative and this dish should last in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. However, I prefer to use the shrimps up within 3 days.
- Freezer - wrap well and freeze for up to a month.
🍱 Prepare in Advance
- Make in advance and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
More seafood light dish ideas
- Crab Canapés
- Smoked Salmon Mousse
- Smoked Salmon Canapés
- Prawn Canapés
- Seafood Bisque
- Pan Seared Scallops with Black Pudding
Morecambe Bay Potted Shrimps
- 2 ramekins or 4 small bowls for serving - optional
- Small saucepan
- glass jug
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- Kitchen paper
- 140 g brown shrimps
- 140 g butter
- 2 sprigs dill
- ½ teaspoon dill dried
- ¼ salt
- ⅛ pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch mace
- Tip the shrimps onto kitchen paper in a single layer to absorb any excess moisture.
- Chop half of the shrimps.
- Melt half of the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. Use a spoon to skim off any foam and discard.
- Add the shrimps, seasoning, dried dill and spices.
- Cook over a low heat for two minutes without boiling.
- Divide the mixture between 2 ramekins or 4 smaller pots and push the shrimps under the butter.
- Leave to cool then place in the refrigerator to set.
- Make the clarified butter by putting the remaining butter in a small saucepan and heat gently until it melts, skim off any foam or bits that rise to the surface and discard. Next pour the liquid butter into another container, being careful not to let any of the sediment at the bottom to go with it.
- Pour the clarified butter over the potted prawns.
- Add a sprig of fresh dill to the butter as it sets.
- Leave in the fridge until required.
- Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article
More sauces and spreads to try
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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I have never heard of this before, but the flavours sound amazing. I can't wait to try.
This was delicious! We really enjoyed both making and eating it!
I never thought to try making this seaside holiday classic myself! Thanks for the great detailed instructions.
Oh, I love how quick and easy this is to make!! Everyone loved it! Thanks!
Thanks for the Morecambe Bay Shrimps recipe! It will work great for Super Bowl next month! Thanks for sharing!
The potted shrimps came out so deliciously! Thank you!
These sound so good! I love the combo of shrimp, butter and dill. YUM!
This is my first time hearing of "Morecambe Bay Potted Shrimp" It sounds absolutely delicious! Enjoyed learning about this one!
Yum!! This shrimp was so good alongside some fresh bread.
This is absolutely amazing!! My family enjoyed it! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!