We first found this great recipe in The New Orleans Cookbook by Rima Collins and Richard Collins (1975). We lost the recipe for a couple of decades until another New Orleans barbecued shrimp recipe appeared in Saveur magazine. A version at the Nola Cuisine website is even better, with heads-on shrimp for maximum flavor. The recipe below combines elements from all the recipes to make a buttery, shrimpy, saucy, spicy, deliciously messy dish, one of Mark’s favorites. You need lots of crusty bread to sop up the sauce, and plenty of paper towels. Serves about 4.
2 pounds good shrimp, on the large side, unpeeled (leave heads on if you want the real New Orleans version)
1 1/2 tablespoons “Slap Ya Mama” cajun seasoning
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
½ cup Abita Amber beer (or another beer)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons Crystal hot sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced
1 loaf crusty French bread
Put shrimp and creole seasoning into a bowl; toss to coat. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over low-medium heat until hot. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and the garlic to skillet and cook garlic gently until golden, about 1 minute. Take care not to let the garlic burn. Add rosemary, thyme, and oregano and cook for 2 minutes.
Add beer and stir well. Increase heat to medium. Reduce liquid by half.
Add the lemon juice, Worcestershire, hot sauce, black pepper, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, the rest of the butter, and the shrimp, tossing to coat well. Cook, flipping shrimp once, until shrimp turn pink, about 1 or 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a large bowl; set aside. Cook the sauce, stirring, until thickened, 7-8 minutes.
Pour the sauce over the shrimp and serve with the chopped parsley, beer, and lots of fresh French bread for dipping in the sauce.