The online magazine
dedicated to the
discussion & revival
of British foodways.

NO.53
SUMMER2017

Potted trout.

Really potted smoked trout but the two adjectives sound clumsy together. Originally you would have potted your leftover cooked fresh trout, but we usually serve one small rainbow apiece and never have leftovers. Anyway the smoky flavor is nice. This is an easy and unusual starter to serve simply with good toast or crackers and horseradish sauce.


Trout004.jpg- about 4 oz smoked trout
- about 2 – 2 ½ oz (4-5 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon mace
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- a little clarified butter or ghee


  1. Break the trout into small pieces (do not include any skin), cut the butter into chunks, dump them both into a food processor with the mace and cayenne, and bash on with the “grind” function until you have a smooth paste.
  2. Spoon the paste into a ramekin or small ceramic dessert or pudding pot (or tiny pots) and smooth the surface.
  3. Melt the butter or ghee, pour it over the trout to seal it, cover with plastic wrap and chill.

Notes:

- The old recipes, and the new ones too for that matter, call for equal proportions of fish and butter. That is a lot of butter. With a food processor you can get a smooth texture and good flavor without using so much fat.

- If you do not have a food processor you can still make potted trout. After all, nobody had one during the heyday of potting in the eighteenth century. Just tear the fish into very small pieces, use a greater proportion of butter, melt it and let it cool, season as usual and mix the ingredients together with a fork (a whisk is no good: the paste clogs the wires), pot the fish, ensure that it is cool and seal with clarified butter.