Food & Drink

New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp

Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer

A tasty, messy Louisiana favorite

Photo: Chris Granger

“When I think about classic New Orleans dishes, this one is at the top of the list. It’s messy in a completely fun, butter-bath kind of way. Don’t make this dish if you don’t have head-on, shell-on shrimp; it just won’t be the same. There is some sort of magic created by having the heads on, and in the way the flavor melds with the butter and black pepper. Reducing the stock with the lemon and Worcestershire creates an intense flavor foundation and also helps to emulsify the butter, instead of having a broken butter sauce.”—Chef Donald Link


    • 1 tsp. vegetable oil

    • 1 lb. jumbo shrimp, shell and head on

    • 2 3-inch rosemary sprigs

    • 3 garlic cloves, sliced

    • Grated zest of 1/2 lemon

    • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

    • 1 tbsp. black pepper

    • 1/2 cup shrimp stock (recipe on page 152 of the cookbook)

    • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

    • Juice of 1 lemon

    • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed

    • 1 loaf of French bread, toasted and sliced


  1. Heat a skillet, preferably cast iron, over high heat until hot. Pour in the oil, swirl to coat, and then add the shrimp in an even layer. Add the rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.

  2. Pour in the shrimp stock, Worcestershire, and lemon juice, flip the shrimp, and cook for 2 minutes more. Simmer the liquid to reduce by two-thirds.

  3. Gradually add the cubed butter, stirring it into the sauce, and continue to cook until the sauce is shiny and thick, about 4 minutes. Serve with plenty of toasted bread for mopping up the buttery sauce.

From chef Donald Link’s Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything