The Best New Orleans BBQ Shrimp. Ever.

"I perfected my BBQ shrimp recipe after cobbling together elements of many other recipes. BBQ shrimp is a classic New Orleans dish, purportedly invented at Pascal's Manale. It's not an accurate name, though - there is no barbecue sauce involved and the shrimp don't go anywhere near a grill. Having fresh shrimp is very important! The Abita imparts a unique flavor, too - if you can get Abita in your area, definitely use it, but if you need to substitute, choose a mild amber ale. Nothing too hoppy and nothing too plain. This recipe will serve 4 as a main dish or up to 8 as an appetizer. This is a dish you eat with your hands - messy and fun!"
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  • Put the shrimp in one layer in a shallow baking dish that can go in the broiler and sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt.
  • Dice the onion up and smash the garlic really well with the flat side of a big knife. Don't cut up the garlic, just smash it.
  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and saute the onions until they're translucent.
  • Add the smashed garlic, lemon zest, and the butter to the saucepan. Stir it up.
  • Once the butter has melted, add all the seasonings - garlic powder, crab boil, LOTS of cracked pepper (I don't know my exact measurement but I'd say probably 30 "cracks" of the pepper cracker), and 4 big slugs from the Worchestershire sauce bottle. Keep stirring.
  • Taste to see if it's spicy enough for you, and if it isn't, add some cayenne - there's cayenne in the crab boil, but some people like a higher level of spiciness than the crab boil can provide.
  • Dump in 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and the juice of the lemon while continuously stirring.
  • Add half of the beer (keep stirring!) and drink the rest (while stirring.) Once all the foam from the beer is gone and it's bubbling again it's ready.
  • Pour the sauce over the shrimp in the baking dish, stir it around, and put it in the broiler.
  • Broil for 8 minutes and then stir it up and broil for 5 more minutes (longer if your shrimp are super gigantic) until the shrimp look done (nice and pink) and you have some good brown crusties on top. The shallower your dish is the better it will be - you want the sauce to almost just barely-ish not cover the shrimp so the little bit of exposed surface browns.
  • Let it rest for 10 minutes before eating. Serve in a bowl with tons of sauce and hot french bread for dipping!

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Home chef, sommelier-in-training, and lover of all things delicious.
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