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Not New Orleans style BBQ shrimp

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New Orleans has a dish called barbeque shrimp, that's not done on a barbeque, but in a.sauce pan.  Different restaurants have different versions of it, and it can vary widely.  Check it out at Deany's in the French Quarter for a really good version.  I like it, but it's messy to eat (shrimp are served head-on, shell-on in the best places.  And, it's spicier than my family likes.  So for Labor Day, I did a grilled shrimp that borrows from the New Orleans recipe, but isn't.  And it can be done on a grill (Kamado in this case).  


I've simplified the list of ingredients and processes from the original concepts (no wine, no reduction, fewer spices), but this is definitely a dish to make your own way.  I wanted to be sure that the fresh shrimp flavor came through, which is easy to lose (for me, at least) with too much spice heat.  Some spices bring that out, though, so bay leaf and lemon juice are kept here.  


Fresh shrimp is a huge benefit, if you can get them.  Well-taken-care-of frozen shrimp will also work ok, but not all frozen are well-taken-care-of.  I wouldn't try this with low quality shrimp, just wouldn't be worth the effort.



  1 lb whole, fresh shrimp (see below) per person

  Worcestershire sauce

  Lemon juice


  Olive or other mild cooking oil

  Bay leaf


  Minced garlic


I didn't measure much of anything in this cook, pretty much done by eye and taste.  But it's pretty straightforward, and flexible.


1 pound whole shrimp is equivalent to ⅔ pound of peeled.  So adjust to the appetites you're feeding.  Also consider shrimp salad or a grilled shrimp poboy as leftovers, so a bit extra don't hurt.


Head, peel, and de-vein the shrimp; put the heads and peelings in a stock pot with about 1 pint water per pound of whole shrimp.  Add salt (other spices you like, Louisiana Shrimp Boil, Tony Cacherie's, Old Bay,etc., or at least a couple bay leaves), and boil about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  If you use one of the premixed spice blends, check to see if they include salt.  Don't want to over salt! 


The water is not enough to submerge all the shrimp peels, stirring helps get it all cooked, and all the goodies extracted from the heads and peels.  (You can make a larger quantity of stock, for this I want it pretty dense).


Using 2 bowls, add some ice to the larger, pour a small amount of the stock into the smaller bowl (sitting in the larger).  Let it chill. You want it cold, not warm, so you're not warming the shrimp.  Add enough Worcestershire sauce to make it look like dirty water, medium dark brown. About ¼ to ⅓ of the volume of stock (yes, that's a lot). Add the shrimp to the mixture, let it soak at least 10 minutes, up to half an hour or so.  The longer you go, though, the vinegar in the Worcestershire sauce will begin to denature the proteins (think ceviche, but vinegar instead of citrus).  You can see some of that going on in the thinnest parts of the shrimp in the second pic.  



  In this photo, I've made up too much marinade, which is a waste of good shrimp stock (liquid gold).




 Worcestershire sauce is a primary flavor in the classic dish, and the classic style has the shrimp cooked in a reduction of that, wine, and stock in a skillet.  In this version, it's being used as a marinade, so not as strong a contributor.  But again, trying to let the fresh shrimp shine through.


The baste here is a combination of butter, oil, bay leaf and salt, warmed until the.butter sizzles, then add minced garlic and.remove from heat.  Add lemon juice.  Reserve some for dipping at the table, or pouring over the skewers then.  The rest is used as a baste before putting on the grill, and supplementing that initial baste while it cooks. 



Skewer the shrimp, baste, cook to 130F minimum.  Kamado in the 350-375F range, grill in upper position.  Once the shrimp go on, it's an open-dome cook, turning the shrimp every couple minutes and moving them around to get an even cook along the skewers and between them.  In this example, I ran final temp for the shrimp higher, around 155, as that's the preference of my consumers, but there's a trade-off in texture and flavor.  




Had a side of an eggplant  with this, and some potato salad (not shown).  Eggplant was just rubbed with oil, salted, and a little of Simon and Garfunkel rub from Amazing ribs.com.  Started the eggplant a bit before the shrimp - they're pretty quick.  



It's a nice, quick cook with delish leftovers (including the extra shrimp stock - did I say I like that stuff?).  


Suggestioms for leftovers: grilled shrimp po-boy, shrimp salad....


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I bet that is fantastic! 

I have easy access to fresh shrimp and never utilize it. Ridiculous! 

This reminds me of a dish my folks used to make. But it was far simpler and messy. They laid out head-on shrimp on a foil lined cookie sheet, about three rows, and put a bunch of black pepper, garlic and butter on them. 

I am sure there were other spices, maybe a little wine. The coagulation of all the juices was amazing. It was sopped up greedily with French bread. You are exactly right about how wonderful the juice/stock is! 

Your refinement of the New Orleans dish sounds like an improvement in flavor, for sure. It would certainly make the flavor more consistent compared to how we did it. Yum, Yum! 

Good Show! 

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1 hour ago, lnarngr said:

This reminds me of a dish my folks used to make. But it was far simpler and messy.

Yep, that sounds like a variation on the original New Orleans dish.  Very tasty, very messy.  The second was what I was trying to avoid.  But I used more pans, just changed where the mess was.  And you don't have those tasty juices to sop up.  One of the best parts.

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That’s one of the best posts I’ve seen! Thanks for the details! I usually don’t have the patience for the prep work with shrimp. I wish I did because I love them! I always buy peeled, deveined shrimp and even then, the inside vein still needs to be removed. Maybe one of these days I’ll get adventurous and give this a go. New Orleans is my favorite food town because of dishes like yours.


Nice job, @Boater!

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I saw a YT vid the other day of some folks possibly cleaning some huge, exotic crawfish, before cooking. He popped the middle tail fin and the vein came right out! 

I guess we couldn't get so lucky with shrimp!

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