Beer-Boiled Shrimp with Sage Brown Butter Sauce

June 18, 2012 2:32 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Cook this baby up in the good stuff. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Full disclosure: there came a tragic point in my college career wherein my gluten sensitivity came to a head, and I had to write beer off as one of those potent potables that I could never, ever partake of ever again. This was particularly unfortunate given how often I would use it in my cooking, because even cheap beer provides a full-bodied flavor to some classic dishes. We're seeing beer pop-up everywhere: from ice cream to cupcakes. In this article, I'll show you how to make some tender, flavorful shrimp with any of the leftover beers you have lying around from your overestimation of how fun last weekend would have been.

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1. Use real, raw shrimp.

I know, I know: it's so much more tempting to just buy that bright pink kind with that's been de-shelled, de-veined, pre-cooked. That kind won't work here: it'll come out over-seasoned and, horror-of-horrors, overcooked as well. Stick with the raw kind, the grey insect-looking stuff that you have to get from the fish section of your supermarket by the pound. Ask the fishmonger if he has any de-veined, shell-on shrimp, as that's ideal for this. If he doesn't, just grab the shell-on shrimp and de-vein them as you clean them at home.

2. Prepare your lemon for juicing.

Roll your lemon against the table, then cut it in half. Rolling the lemon against the table frees up the juice, so you get a ton more out than you would have otherwise. Squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl and reserve the lemon halves.

2. Use 36 ounces (3 bottles or so) of whatever beer you like.

I like a crisp, cheaper lager for this-- that way, you can save the nicer stuff for drinking on the side. In a pot big enough to boil everything, combine two tablespoons of Old Bay Seasoning, your beer, one teaspoon of black peppercorns, the two lemon halves, one-half a cup of water, one-half a cup of sprite, one teaspoon of salt to a boil.

Wait anywhere from ten-to-fifteen minutes to make sure everything combines nicely. Taste it. Delicious, no?

3. Prepare your side-sauce.

You can do pretty much anything for this side-sauce, but nothing succeeds like lemon butter. Melt a stick of butter over a sauce pan and add a handful of sage leaves, chopped, and the lemon juice. 

Brown it.

4. Cook your shrimp.

This is the easy part. Add the shrimp to the boil, cover the pot, turn off the heat, and wait three minutes. After three minutes, check the shrimp to see if they're nice and pink. If they're not, return to just boiling and cover the pot again. If they are, take them out, and serve them with the sage-lemon butter.



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