Anchovy Butter



  • Fine anchovies, 12
  • butter, ¾ lb.
  • cayenne, small ½ saltspoonful
  • nutmeg and mace, each more than twice as much
  • rose pink (if used), ½ teaspoon.


Scrape the skin quite clear from a dozen fine mellow anchovies, free the flesh entirely from the bones, and pound it as smooth as possible in a mortar; rub it through the back of a hair-sieve with a wooden spoon; wipe out the mortar, and put back the anchovies with three quarters of a pound of very fresh butter, a small half-saltspoonful of cayenne, and more than twice as much of finely grated nutmeg, and freshly pounded mace; and beat them together until they are thoroughly blended. If to serve cold at table, mould the butter in small shapes, and turn it out. a little rose pink (which it sold at the chemists’) is sometimes used to give it a fine colour, but it must be sparingly used, or it will impart an unpleasant flavour, and we cannot much recommend its use: it should be well pounded, and very equally mixed with it. For kitchen use, press the butter down into jars or pattypans, and keep it in a cool place.

This proportion differs from potted anchovies only in the larger proportion of butter mixed with the fish, and the milder seasoning of spice. It will assist to form an elegant dish if made into pats, and stamped with a tasteful impression, then placed alternately with pats of lobster-butter, and decorated with light foliage. It is generally eaten with much relish when carefully compounded, and makes excellent sandwiches. To convert it into a good fish sauce, mix two or three ounces of it with a teaspoonful of flour and a few spoonsful of cold water, or of pale veal stock, and keep them constantly stirred until they boil. The butter should not be moulded directly it is taken from the mortar, as it is then very soft from the beating. It should be placed until it is firm in a very cool place or over ice, when it can be done conveniently.