Potted Crab

3 cups

This rich dish travels well, making it perfect for outings such as picnics.


  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter

  • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over

  • 1 tablespoon brandy

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh red chile (seeded if desired)

  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon paprika

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Melba Toast, for serving


  1. Clarify butter: Melt 1 cup butter in a small, deep saucepan over low heat. Simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes. Using a spoon, skim foam from surface. Carefully pour clarified butter (the clear liquid) into a medium saucepan; discard milk solids from bottom of small pan.

  2. Set clarified butter over medium heat. Gently stir in crabmeat. Heat until just bubbling. Remove from heat. Gently stir in brandy, chile, salt, pepper, paprika, and nutmeg. Divide crab mixture among three 1-cup jars. Let cool completely.

  3. Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Let cool completely. Pour over crab mixture in jars. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Serve with melba toast.

Cook's Notes

Potted crab can be refrigerated in airtight jars up to 1 week.

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