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Prep time: 10 minutes, plus chilling time Cook time: 5 minutes

Serves 4 as a starter

Morecambe Bay on the Lancashire coast is the home of shrimping, and most commercial potted shrimps will come from there. To make your own, either order peeled brown shrimps from a fishmonger (the pricier option) or use peeled prawns from a tub, because it will take you the best part of a day to peel enough to serve four!

This starter can be prepared the day, or a few days, before you want to serve it. Just bring the potted shrimps out of the fridge an hour or so ahead to soften up.

INGREDIENT­S For the shrimps

– 180g unsalted butter – juice of ½ lemon

– a good pinch of ground

mace or nutmeg

– a pinch of cayenne


– 1 small bay leaf

– 1 tsp anchovy essence

or paste

– 210g peeled brown


To serve

– good-quality brown bread, toasted and buttered

– 2 lemons, halved


Melt the butter in a pan, add the lemon juice, mace or nutmeg, cayenne pepper, bay leaf and anchovy essence or paste, and simmer on a low heat for two minutes to infuse the spices. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool until it is just warm.

Add the shrimps and stir well, then season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Put the mixture in the fridge and stir every so often. When the butter starts to set, fill four ramekins with the mixture or spoon it on to plates or scallop shells, like I’ve done here.

If you are not serving them that day, return the ramekins to the fridge and cover with cling film. It’s important not to serve the shrimps straight from the fridge as the butter will be too hard to spread nicely on the toast, and won’t taste as good.

Serve with hot buttered toast and lemon halves for squeezing.

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