Charleston-Style Potted Shrimp with Brown Butter and Herbs

For a luxurious seafood starter try Ashbell McElveen's tasty recipe for potted prawns American-style, served with home-made biscuits
By Ashbell McElveen
Charleston-Style Potted Shrimp with Brown Butter and Herbs
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 450 ml water
  • 55 ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt
  • 675 g raw, peeled tiger prawns
  • 225 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp onions, finely chopped
  • 4 fresh sage leaves or 1/8 tsp dried sage
  • 2 pinches ground mace
  • ground white pepper
  • 2 tbsp double cream

For the biscuits:

  • 230 g plain flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 900 ml buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened


1. In a saucepan place the water, white wine vinegar, bay leaf and salt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and add the raw prawns.

2. Simmer the tiger prawns (shrimp) for 2 minutes or so until they cook and turn pink. Drain, discarding the bay leaf, and set aside to cool.

3. Finely chop the cooled tiger prawns and set aside.

4. In a heavy-based frying pan heat three-quarters of the butter until it just begins to brown. Add the garlic and onion and fry, stirring often, until tender. Add the sage and mace, taking care not to let the butter burn.

5. Add the cooked chopped prawn, mixing in well. Season with white pepper. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside to cool.

6. Mix together the cooled prawn mixture, cream and remaining butter. Divide among 4 ramekin dishes. Cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes before serving.

7. Meanwhile, make the biscuits. Preheat the oven to 230°C/gas 8. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.

8. Add the butter and rub in until absorbed. Gradually add the buttermilk until a soft but not sticky dough if formed.

9. Roll out the biscuit dough on a floured work surface to around 1 cm thickness. Cut out rounds using a tea-cup or a circular cutter. Place the biscuits on a greased baking sheet.

10. Bake the biscuits for 12 minutes until set and golden.

11. Serve the potted prawns with the biscuits.

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