2 ratings

Cured's BBQ Shrimp

This is authentic New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp

Dave S./Yelp

Chef Steve McHugh may be a Wisconsin-born chef running an acclaimed San Antonio restaurant (Cured), but he's a New Orleans chef through-and-through. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America he moved to The Big Easy, where he spent time cooking at restaurants including Dickie Brennan's SteakBacco before goining chef John Besh's team at Best Steak and later his fine dining restaurant August, where he served as chef de cuisine. This is McHugh's recipe for classic New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp, which coats the shrimp in a rich and buttery sauce. 


Chef’s Note: This recipe calls for oyster water, the liquor that comes from oysters, but if you can’t get your hands on any you can substitute clam juice. At Cured we make our own Creole spice but you can always buy it.


For the BBQ Shrimp:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Pounds shrimp (16/20), peeled and deveined, with shells reserved
  • Creole spice, to season
  • Salt, to season
  • Pepper, to season
  • 1 Cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 Cup barbecue base (recipe to follow)
  • 2 Cups heavy cream
  • 8 Tablespoons butter (one stick), cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/4 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, sliced (preferably crosshatched on a grill for optimal flavor)
  • Crusty French bread, for dipping

For the BBQ Base:

  • 2 quarts oyster water (see note)
  • Reserved shrimp shells
  • 2 quarts Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves


For the BBQ Shrimp:

In a large 14-inch cast iron sauté pan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Meanwhile, coat the shrimp in Creole spice and season with salt and pepper.

Sear shrimp in the oil on both sides and add the white wine. Allow wine to reduce by half. Add BBQ base and once again reduce by half.

At this point, remove the shrimp from the sauce and add the heavy cream and simmer for 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and whisk in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until all has been incorporated.

Add the shrimp back to the pan to reheat through. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemons. Serve family style with French bread

For the BBQ Base:

Add all ingredients to a pot and reduce by a third. Strain the sauce and reserve.