NOLA-Style BBQ Shrimp with Cheese Grits

(Found on They had shared it from the recipe book Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey: Recipes from My Three Favorite Food Groups and Then Some by John Currence)

20 head-on unpeeled shrimp
1 ½ tsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 T pure olive oil
1 T bacon fat
2 shallots, sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tsp black peppercorns
1 lemon sliced (leave rind on)
10 oz Worcestershire Sauce
1 T chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 dried bay leaves
½ cup dry white wine
¾ cup veal stock
3 T unsalted butter
3 T heavy cream
½ cup unsalted butter, cold, cubed
3 T chopped flat-leaf parsley

To cook the shrimp: remove the heads and peel the shrimp, leaving the tails attached. Reserve the shells. Cut a groove down the spine of the shrimp to slightly butterfly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Heat the olive oil and the bacon fat in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shrimp shells and heads; stir until they turn pink. Add the shallots and garlic; sauté until they are fragrant and translucent. Stir in the black peppercorns, lemon, Worcestershire Sauce, rosemary, thyme, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, wine and veal stock. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and reduce by half, about 12 – 15 minutes. Strain the reduced stock and reserve.

In a large pan over medium heat, heat 3 tablespoons of butter until melted. Add the shrimp. Add the reserved shrimp stock to the pan. Bring to a simmer, and turn the shrimp once when they start to turn pink. Remove the shrimp. Simmer the sauce and reduce until it is thick and slightly syrupy. Swirl in the cream and combine completely. Whisk in the cold butter and combine completely. Fold in the parsley.

Serve on top of creamy cheese grits. Recipe below.

Cheese Grits

2 cups chicken stock
2 cups whole milk
1 cup stone ground grits (not quick or instant)
4 T unsalted butter
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp salt
1 T freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup cream cheese

In a medium saucepan, bring the stock and milk to boil over medium heat. Whisk in the grits and lower the heat slightly. Continue whisking for about 10 – 12 minutes until grits are tender. Make sure you taste test here. Stir in butter, garlic, salt, pepper and cheese. Serve warm.